Alissa’s Note: Our tip this week comes from my friend and fellow writer Jim Pfitzer, who posted this public service announcement on his Facebook page recently. When I asked about using it for this blog, he was generous enough to agree to let me share it with all of you!

Hello World. I would like to help you out today, because from what I hear on the radio, a lot of you are confused. Here goes. Listen carefully. The following phrase does not make sense: “Between twelve o’clock to four o’clock.”

“Twelve to four” is a single range, encompassing four hours, not two separate times. In order for the word “between” to have any meaning at all, there must be at least two points, separated by the word “and.”

If an event lasts four hours, it might last “from 12:00 to 4:00.” However, If an event will happen at some time in that range, but not last the entire time, you need to express two points in time by using the word “and” instead of “to.” 

“The concert will last FROM 12:00 TO 4:00” suggests a four hour concert. “The concert will end BETWEEN 3:00 AND 4:00” provides a range of time during which the concert will reach its conclusion.

BETWEEN requires AND. FROM requires TO. Get it?

The same applies when expressing dollar values, or physical points. You cannot live between Phoenix to Tucson, you cannot earn between $60,000 to $80,000 per year, and you cannot eat lunch between 12:00 to 1:00. None of those statements make sense, because they offer one range, rather than two points. Thus, there can be no “between.”

You can spend between $6 and $10 on a bottle of wine, but you cannot spend between $6 to $10 on a bottle of wine.

Got it? Thank you for your time.

Jim Pfitzer

Jim is best known for his nature-based personal tales ranging from too-close-for-comfort black bear encounters to the significance of sweet tea in southern society. His work has been called “avant-garde and old-fashioned at the same time.” Click his name above to visit his blog.

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Jim’s Tip: Between vs. From

by | Mar 3, 2017