\u201cWhilst,\u201d \u201camongst,\u201d and \u201camidst\u201d are all variant spellings of familiar terms:\r\n\r\n \tWhilst is an alternative spelling of the conjunction \u201cwhile.\u201d\r\n \tAmongst is a variant spelling of the preposition \u201camong.\u201d\r\n \tAmidst is an alternative version of the preposition \u201camid.\u201d\r\n\r\nBut which spellings should you use? Are they always interchangeable? And how do you avoid errors in your writing? Check out our tips below!\r\nWhat to Do with -st Word Endings\r\nAll the words we\u2019re looking at here have standard spellings (while, among, amid) and alternative -st endings (whilst, amongst, amidst). In each case, the variant spelling means the same thing as the standard version. And this means the \u201ccorrect\u201d spelling is mostly a matter of preference.\r\n\r\nNevertheless, there are two key factors to consider with these words:\r\n\r\n \tThe -st endings are rarely used in American English, but they are accepted variant spellings and more common in Australian and British English.\r\n \tThe -st spellings here may sound quite formal or old-fashioned. For this reason, many style guides suggest avoiding these spellings.\r\n\r\nAs such, you will usually want to use the standard versions of these words (while, among, amid). But to give you a better idea of how to use them correctly, we\u2019ll look at each pair of spellings in more detail below.\r\nWhile vs. Whilst\r\nWhen used as a conjunction, while\/whilst typically means \u201cduring the time that,\u201d \u201cat the same time as,\u201d or \u201cdespite the fact that.\u201d For example, we could use either spelling in the following sentences:\r\nI did the laundry while you were in the bath.\r\nI did the laundry whilst you were in the bath.\r\nHowever, \u201cwhile\u201d can also be a noun or a verb:\r\nI spent a while in the bath today.\r\nI\u2019d rather while away the hours instead of doing chores.\r\n\u201cWhile\u201d is the only accepted spelling in these cases. As such, make sure you only use \u201cwhilst\u201d if you are using it as a conjunction, not as a noun or verb.\r\nAmong vs. Amongst\r\nAmong\/Amongst is a preposition meaning \u201csurrounded by\u201d or \u201cin the midst of\u201d:\r\nWe swam among the fish in a tropical paradise.\r\nWe swam amongst the fish in a tropical paradise.\r\nIt also has a few other uses, such as indicating membership of a group (e.g., it caused outrage amongst commentators) or division between group members (e.g., they shared it out among themselves). But you can use either \u201camong\u201d or \u201camongst\u201d in all these cases as long as you\u2019re consistent.\r\nAmid vs. Amidst\r\nAmid\/amidst is also a preposition meaning \u201csurrounded by\u201d:\r\nThe book lay amid a pile of discarded sweet wrappers.\r\nThe book lay amidst a pile of discarded sweet wrappers.\r\nAs with \u201camong\u201d and \u201camongst,\u201d the choice of spelling here is a matter of preference. However, \u201camidst\u201d is especially rare in American English, so it is best avoided in most cases.\r\nSummary: Whilst, Amongst and Amidst\r\n\u201cWhilst,\u201d \u201camongst,\u201d and \u201camidst\u201d are variant spellings of \u201cwhile,\u201d \u201camong,\u201d and \u201camid,\u201d respectively. As such, you can often use the standard and -st spellings interchangeably. However, there are some guidelines to follow:\r\n\r\n \tAll the -st spellings here are much rarer in American English.\r\n \tThe -st variant spellings here may sound old-fashioned or overly formal.\r\n \tMany style guides recommend avoiding the -st spellings of these terms.\r\n \t\u201cWhilst\u201d is only accepted as a variant of \u201cwhile\u201d when used as a conjunction. If you are using it as a verb or noun, you should stick to \u201cwhile.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn addition, make sure to use a consistent spelling style in each document. For example, if you use \u201camong\u201d in one place, you shouldn\u2019t switch to \u201camongst\u201d later on. And if you\u2019d like a professional to help ensure your spelling is always perfect, why not submit a document for proofreading today?