Did you know that “between” can be both inclusive and exclusive? It depends on the context to determine which one applies to it. Of course, you might not be entirely sure what either form means, so it would help to read this article to find out more about it.
Is “Between” Inclusive or Exclusive?
“Between” is inclusive when you are including the objects or numbers in the given range as part of a selection (i.e. “choose between 1 and 5”). It is exclusive when the highlighted start and end points of the range are excluded (i.e. “how many are between 2 and 5?”).
Basically, it’s possible to include or exclude the stated numbers or objects in your “between” range.
If you are being inclusive, you’ll use it like this:
- Pick anything between here and there.
Here, “here” and “there” are established as the range. You can select either “here” or “there,” but you can also choose anything that comes between those two points.
If you’re being exclusive, you’ll see it more like this:
- How many of them fall between thirty and sixty?
In this case, you are specifically looking for certain things that fall between the two listed points of your range. Therefore, it’s not possible to include “thirty” or “sixty” as part of the range, which means they are excluded.
“Between” as Inclusive
“Between” is more common as an inclusive range. It works better because it allows you to establish a start and end point that people can work with. It’s more natural to allow people to use the start and end point of a range without excluding them from their choice.
You’ll find that most people prefer “between” as an inclusive form. Even if they have never put much thought into it, it just makes more sense to use “between” to allow someone to set up a range while also accepting the two stated values to be included as part of it.
Here are some examples to show you how to use “between” as an inclusive form in a sentence:
- It was somewhere between three and sixty, but I don’t know if that also included the numbers that I mentioned. Sorry!
- It’s not going to go anywhere between here and there. We can’t let that happen, and I’m sure we’ll be able to fix it before it’s too late.
- I thought he said he wanted it between 5 and 35. I think you’ve managed to mess this one up a little bit because it’s outside both ranges.
- I need you to pick a number between 50 and 60. It can be any number, but I’d really appreciate it if you could give it to me now.
- You have to make a stop at some point between here and there. Where do you think you’re going to pick to take your stop?
“Between” as Exclusive
It’s not as common to come across “between” as an exclusive form. While it is still acceptable, most people prefer to use “between” as a way to include the numbers stated in the ranges.
It would be more common for “between” to be exclusive when specific questions are asked, like “how many things are between” or something along those lines.
If you want to know how to use “between” as an exclusive form in a sentence, you can refer to the following:
- Will you be able to tell me how many numbers come between 1 and 10? I want to test your reasoning skills.
- I thought there was something going on somewhere between South Street and North Street. Where was it happening?
- They wanted me to tell them how many things occurred between 1920 and 1922, but I really don’t know the statistics.
- I wanted you to state exactly how many numbers came between 1 and 50. Why couldn’t you do that?
- Without including the stated numbers, how many numbers are between 56 and 67? It’s not a trick question.
You can use “between” as an inclusive or exclusive form. It depends on the context. If you want it to be inclusive, you usually give people the option to choose from the range. If you want it to be exclusive, you usually say something is more important within the range.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.