General Writing and Grammar Help/Between - in between

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Question
Dear Ted:

What is the difference between "between" and "in between"?

Also, are there any cases in which the two may be used interchangably?

If so, when?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

What is the difference between "between" and "in between"?

Also, are there any cases in which the two may be used interchangably?

If so, when?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** There is no difference in the meaning of the two.  "Between" means "in" because one thing is placed inside two other things.  So "in between" is somewhat redundant.  However, most people use both expressions.

EXAMPLES:

The old adage "Between a rock and a hard place" means that a person is in a difficult dilemma, with two choices, neither of which is positive.

The photographer asked John to stand BETWEEN Mary and Jane.
The photographer asked John to stand IN BETWEEN Mary and Jane.

For the best interpretation of this poem, a person must read BETWEEN the lines.

When her parents divorced, Margaret had to choose BETWEEN her mother and her father.

Don't let anyone or anything come BETWEEN our friendship.

It is good grammar to put a semi-colon IN BETWEEN two independent clauses that are not joined by a comma with a conjunction.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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