Effective Technical Writing in the Information Age

Between . . . and / From . . . to


These combinations are not interchangeable, but many writers mistakenly combine “between” with “to” and “from” with “and.” When defining two or more end parameters, “between” is most effectively linked with “and”; “from” most effectively linked with “to” (and more than one “to” may be used in a series of linked terms or phrases):

The Ministry plans to construct between 50 and 60 cyclone shelters.
From May 1997 to May 2000, the city’s population swelled by 400,000 people.
Citizens’ negative responses to Census 2000 ranged from the indifferent to the surly to the downright obscene.

Also, the hyphen between two values (such as “5-10”) functions invisibly as the word “to” or “through,” but it should only be used alone. Therefore, “It moved 5-10 meters” is correct, while “It moved from 5-10 meters” or “It moved between 5-10 meters” is not.