"midst in" or "amidst"?


I´m puzzleing about the usage of midst. Is it fine to omit the preposition “in the … of” when use midst? Is midst in the usage of “in the midst of” a noun and were it better to say “amidst” when using a preposition?

Two examples to clarify my confusion:

… located in the midst of the desert

… located amidst the desert

Enlightning would be appreciated very much, please do it :slight_smile:



Hi Michael

When you use the word “midst”, I’d say it’s basically always in the form of “in the midst of”. A typical usage for “midst” would be this:

  • be in the midst of doing something

In other words, you are often “in the midst of an activity”.
Otherwise, you’ll also hear “in the midst of” combined with words such as these:

  • an economic boom
  • 100-degree heat
  • a storm

In other words, “in the midst of a (certain type of) situation”.

Saying “in the midst of the desert” doesn’t sound typical to me. I’d recommend sticking with “in the middle of the desert” – although I think “in the midst of thousands of cacti” might work. :lol: (That would fit the sense of “among” better.)

The words “amid/amidst” are similar to “in the midst of” in meaning (“amid” is more often used than “amidst”), but with “amid(st)” you don’t need any prepositions. The sense is usually “surrounded by” or “among”, and the word “all” is also often used with “amid(st)”:

  • amid (all) the turmoil surrounding the …
  • amid all the accusations
  • amid all the violence
  • amid widespread fears that …

As was the case with “in the midst of”, I don’t like “amid the desert”. That particular usage sounds unnatural to me. Again, however, “amid thousands of cacti” strikes me as being a more typical sort of usage.

Hope that helps.

Hi Amy,

having read your explanation I feel like not seeing the bush despite I´m located in the midst of a huge number of trees? :roll:

I get your point as follows: “in the midst of” or “amid” doesn´t fit for an actual location unless the place is used for a metaphor? :idea: :?:

Thank you