Between

'Between' is one of those words that every English speaker must be familiar with. In this lesson, we will go over everything about it.

How To Use "Between" in English

'Between' can function as both a preposition and an adverb. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'Between'

'Between' as a Preposition

One of the main functions of 'between' is to be a preposition. Below, we are going to learn all about it:

Use

'Between' as a Preposition of Place

We can use 'between' to show the location of something/someone, so we call it a preposition of place. Below, there is a list of all its meanings as a preposition of place:

  • When we are putting something/someone in the space separating two things/people:

She stood between me and him and begged us to stop.

Between Mount Vesuvius and Mount St. Helens is a beautiful meadow.

  • We can use 'between' to show the amount of something:

The passengers' suitcase must weigh between 19 to 23 kilograms.

Here, it shows that the amount must be more than '19' and less than '23'.

If your weight is between 50 to 54, there's nothing wrong with your physical health.

  • When we want to indicate the a line separating two things/people/places, we use it:

The border between modernist and postmodernist thinking is so blurred and invisible.

This line shows the borders between different countries.

  • When we want to share something with someone:

I will tell you my secret only if you promise me that it will stay between you and I.

Let's have a pasta between us.

  • When we want to indicate a special connection, friendship, etc. between two things/people:

I can sense so much passion between you two.

Sometimes I don't wanna choose between two choices.

  • When we want to state that some actions are involved:

Between working from 9 to 6 and practicing for my vocal class, I tried to save some time for myself.

Between travelling and being a mother, she could also take care of herself.

'Between' as a Preposition of Time

'Between' can also be a preposition of time. When we want to show a period of time between two different events, we use 'between' as a preposition:

It's recommended that you not spend so much time on your phone between morning to noon.

When I was a university student, I used to have 30 minutes break between my classes.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'between' is a preposition here, it mainly comes before nouns and noun phrases. We can have a prepositional phrase at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of sentences. Below are examples for more clarification:

Can I drink water between dinner and dessert?

Justina and her friends ran to the forest between the river and the mountain.

Warning!

Note that whenever we have a prepositional phrase at the beginning, we must have a comma after it. Also, when the prepositional phrase is in the middle, it must be between two commas.

'Between' as an Adverb

As mentioned above, 'between' can also be an adverb. Below, we are going to learn all about the different kinds of adverbs it can be:

Use

'Between' as an Adverb of Place

We can also use 'between' as an adverb of place and show that something is in the middle of two things. Look at the following examples for more clarity:

I found a stack of letters with rose petals in between.

I could see two kids and an adult between.

'Between' as an Adverb of Time

'Between' can also be an adverb of time, signifying a gap between two points in time. Below, you can find examples:

A vocal and a guitar class with literally two minutes between is how I spend my weekends.

It is best to have three meals with a few snacks between.

Position in a Sentence

As you know, adverbs mainly modify adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs. So, they come after them. Look at the following examples:

I found a stack of letters with rose petals in between.

You will have two projects with a 15-minute break between.

Idioms and Expressions with 'Between'

We have very few idioms with 'between'. However, we will learn all about them below:

  • Be between jobs/marriages/etc: When someone does not have a job, etc right now:

It's been a while since I've been between jobs and I still can't figure out what I wanna do.

I'm worried about Ron. He's been between girlfriends a long time.

  • Read between the lines: When we want to discover the different layers of meaning in something:

One of the greatest lessons studying literature in the university taught me was to read between the lines.

Instead of looking for explicit meaning, try to read between the lines, Anna.

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