Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Among vs Between

1) Use between with two items.

Emily was standing between Sam and Adam.
Ram divided his property equally between his two children.

2) Between can be used to talk about distance and intervals.
I will be at the college between eight and ten.
The distance between wooden studs in new houses in UK is 350mm

3) Between is used before each
There seems to be less and less time between each event
Insert a space between each character
There are 9 lines between each centimeter

4) Use among with three or more items.
Ram divided his property equally among his three children.
The letter is somewhere among these papers.

5) Use between when something/ someone is between several clearly separated thing/ people. Use among when something/ someone is in a group/ crowd/ mass which we cannot see separately.
My villa is between the woods, the river and the village.
Your villa is hidden among the trees.

6) When talking about dividing and sharing things between or among more than two people or groups - can use any of the two
Ram divided all his property between/ among his children and grandchildren - both between and among are correct
We shared the work between/ among four of us. - both between and among are correct

7) Generally between is used after difference.
What's the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?
There are enormous differences between developing countries in burden of disease , financial resources, educational attainment, and health systems

Friday, April 04, 2008

Usual vs Is Usual

When something is compared to itself, usual is fine.
When something is compared to a subgroup to which it belongs, is usual should be used.

For example:

1. He is nicer than usual

2. He is faster than is usual for any human being.

3. Ram is faster than usual today.

4. Emails are often written in a much formal way than is usual in writing.

5. The sun looks less brightly than usual to-day.

6. The new sports car is heavier than is usual for a performance automobile, but it is exceptional because of its high-powered engine .

7. Successful completion of Grammar course is not easy and requires more planning and preparation than is usual for normal course completion .

8. There was a higher ratio of comedy to drama than is usual in a one hour show.

9. I checked this article more carefully than usual for grammatical errors.

10. The gravel was damper than usual, since it rained heavily yesterday.

11. Today I was busier than usual at work.

GMAT Question example:

The Parthenon is larger than usual for a Doric temple, with eight columns on the short sides and seventeen on the long ones rather than the typical six and thirteen.

(A) usual

(B) is usual

(C) has been usual

(D) one usually is

(E) it is usual

Answer: B