Submitted by lakshay anand on September 30, 2012

from among

What’s the difference between “among” and “from among”? Do you select a winner “from” the list of participants or “from among” the list of participants?


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Hi andreea. it wasn't meant to be a dig at you, but at all the rest of us. Unfortunately I didn't read your comment properly before I did all that. If I had, I could have saved myself some work. But I enjoy doing that sort of stuff. :)))

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dear will, it took long because only yesterday i needed to check on something and, by chance (if i may say), i came over this page - not because i've been thinking about the answer since september :))))
the shortcut is the following: select FROM a list / select FROM AMONG a larger number of things/persons etc.
you made quite a research on this matter, as i can see :) however, the cambridge definition at the end of your reply makes it clear for everyone, i think :)

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Interesting question. I can't think why it took so long for someone to answer. A quick check for "selected from among" on Google Books suggests that sometimes there seems to be no difference:

"selected from among the inaugural dissertations" (1806)
"selected from among lectures and articles" (1907)

But in these quotations:

"A committee of 5 members is to be selected from among 6 boys and 5 girls." (2008)
"They were selected from among the ikbals", (2011)
"Three (3) members of the Industry Committee shall be selected from among growers in the South Georgia District" (1966)

it seems to me, that when we're talking about selecting from a group of people it sounds better with "among" than without. It seems to make them more of a group than simply a number of random people. (I think). So I tend to agree with andreea.

Google Books has 83 million hits for "selected from the", but a mere million for "selected from among the". Some of the books with "selected from among" seem to be quite old, and an Ngram graph would appear to confirm that the version with "among" is becoming less popular:

Incidentally, Cambridge Dictionaries define "out of", as in "nine out of ten", as meaning "from among an amount or number"

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as i see it, either you say "select a winner from the list of participants", or "select a winner from among the participants"

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