Prepositions: among, between, for, or with ?



Hello, I would like to find out the right answer for the following question.

Peace was restored _________ Melissa and her sisters when
they stopped their argument.









Posted 19 February 2003
The right answer here is between, according to my own corpus search findings.

Similar sentences:


Diplomatic relations had been restored between the States and Germany.


Harmony was restored between priest and soldier.


It was a spectacle in which the whole country greatly rejoiced, to see the intimacy restored between the two venerable men, once Presidents of the United States.

Chuncan Feng

Between would be correct, and probably is used most often as Chuncan Feng states. Between is used when referring to two parties, two adversaries, two teams, two sides - two of anything. In this case, Melissa is one side, and her two sisters compose the other side. There are only two sides, and the sentence suggests that Melissa, on one side, had had a falling out with her two sisters, on the other side.

Examples of this construction would be:

Peace was restored between Melissa and her sisters when they stopped their argument.

Peace was restored between the North and the South after both sides were exhausted from the war.

The situation between Don and Adrienne is very tense.

This is a secret - it's just between you and me.

Among, however, could also be correct. If Melissa represented one side, her sister, say, Liliana, represented another side, and her sister Paulina represented yet another side - among would be the preposition to use. Three or more items require among.


Peace was restored among Melissa and her sisters when they stopped their argument.

Peace was restored among all the nations after the long war.

This situation among the warring factions is impossible to deal with.

Just among us - among those few of us who believe this way - I don't think George will be a good president.

Between and among would probably be the most commonly used prepositions with "peace was restored." The Collins COBUILD online ( gives 40 (the maximum it gives in a sample) examples of "peace ... between" and only 17 examples of "peace ... among," suggesting that the idea of "peace between" two entities appears about twice as frequently as does "peace among" several entities.

It's also possible, though, to use for. For would mean "in the service of" or "on behalf of," or even "to," so the sentence could mean that peace was restored to the affairs of Melissa and her sisters. In this case, the number of sides involved - two or more than two - is not relevant.

Peace was restored for Melissa and her sisters when they stopped their argument/ when their parents intervened/ when their widowed father brought them a lovely stepmother.

Peace was restored for the peoples of the world, and everyone was grateful.

Peace for them is impossible - they each see only one point of view.

It is not possible to use with in this sentence as it is.


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