beside vs. besides

Tips

#68

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A simple letter marks the difference: Is your phone beside or besides your computer? Do you speak any other language besides or beside English? These two words are very similar but let’s learn their meaning to express them the right way!

besides:

It means apart from.

Examples:

-Besides your dog, do you have any other pets?
-I have other responsibilities besides work, like family and school.

vs.

beside:

It means next to.

Examples:

– The lamp is beside the sofa.
– Patty is standing beside the coffee table.

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Don’t Say:

Santa likes cookies and milk besides the Christmas tree.

Say:

Santa likes cookies and milk beside the Christmas tree.

EXERCISE

DIRECTIONS: Complete the sentences with beside or besides.

EXAMPLE: Besides her excellent communication skills, she is great at selling.

*Note: A misspelled word counts as incorrect.

ANSWER KEY

1)  The president sat beside the first lady.

2) Besides your trip to Paris, are you going somewhere else?

3) Do you like other candies besides chocolates?

4) That garden beside the tower is beautiful.

5) We placed the Christmas tree beside the chimney.

Other uses of besides:

Besides can also be used as a linking adverb, and it means in addition to: I really don’t want to go to the party, besides it’s too cold to go out.” Besides can be a synonym for “except” or “excluding”: Besides him, everyone liked the idea.

FUN PHRASES

That is completely beside the point.” This phrase is used to express when something is irrelevant or not important at the moment.

“We are speaking about finance, so your comment about politics is completely beside the point!”

”To be completely beside one’s self” means to be very excited.

“I got the job! I’m completely beside myself right now.”