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Difference Between Beside or Besides

Beside or Besides

In English, “beside” and “besides” are often confused due to their similar spelling and pronunciation. However, they serve distinct grammatical roles and convey different meanings. “Beside” is a preposition that means “next to” or “at the side of,” indicating a physical location. Conversely, “besides” can function as both a preposition and an adverb, meaning “in addition to” or “apart from,” denoting inclusion or an additional point in an argument. This nuanced difference highlights the precision required in language to convey the intended message accurately.

FunctionPrepositionPreposition and Adverb
MeaningNext to, at the side ofIn addition to, apart from
UsagePhysical proximityAdditional point or item
Common ContextDescribing locationIntroducing additional information
beside the point

Difference Between “Beside” and “Besides”

Definition of Beside

"Beside" is used to describe the physical location of something in relation to another, emphasizing spatial proximity. It indicates that something or someone is next to or at the side of another object or person.

Definition of Besides

"Besides" serves a dual purpose. As a preposition, it means "in addition to" or "other than." As an adverb, it emphasizes an additional argument or point, equivalent to "furthermore" or "moreover."

Origin of Beside

The word “beside” originates from Old English, combining “be” (by) and “side” (flank or vicinity), reflecting its purpose to denote spatial relationships.

Origin of Besides

Besides” also stems from Old English, with the addition of “s” indicating an extension from “beside,” evolving to include the notion of “in addition to” over time.


Both “beside” and “besides” are pronounced similarly, with the distinction lying in the “s” sound at the end of “besides,” which signifies its additional or apart from meaning.

Comparing Beside and Besides

The primary difference between “beside” and “besides” lies in their grammatical function and the context of their use. “Beside” strictly refers to physical placement, while “besides” introduces supplementary information or alternatives.

Comparison Table

FunctionPreposition onlyPreposition and Adverb
IndicatesSpatial relationshipAddition or exception
Contextual UsePhysical proximityAdditional information or alternatives
ExampleShe sat beside me.Besides math, he also excels in science.

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Beside in Sentences

  1. The book is lying beside the lamp, indicating the book’s location relative to the lamp. (Physical proximity)
  2. Sit beside me during the concert, suggesting a request for someone to sit next to the speaker. (Location)
  3. The river runs right beside our town, describing the river’s proximity to the town. (Spatial relationship)
  4. She placed the vase beside the window, showing where the vase was positioned. (Placement)
  5. Walking beside you is all I desire, implying a preference for physical closeness. (Emotional proximity)

Use of Besides in Sentences

  1. Besides being a talented musician, she’s also an excellent dancer, introducing an additional skill. (Addition)
  2. What other sports do you play besides basketball?, asking for information beyond the mention of basketball. (Exclusion)
  3. I don’t think we should go to that restaurant; besides, it’s too expensive, offering an additional argument. (Furthermore)
  4. Besides the basic package, we offer customized services, listing an option other than the mentioned one. (Apart from)
  5. He didn’t want to attend; besides, he wasn’t even invited, adding a reinforcing point. (Moreover)


Understanding the distinction between “beside” and “besides” is essential for precise communication. “Beside” refers to a physical location, while “besides” implies an addition or an alternative. Recognizing and applying this difference enhances clarity and effectiveness in writing and speech.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Can “besides” and “beside” be used interchangeably?
    • No, due to their different meanings and functions in a sentence, they are not interchangeable.
  • Is “besides” always followed by a comma when starting a sentence?
    • Often, “besides” is followed by a comma when it begins a sentence and introduces an additional point, but this can vary depending on the sentence structure.
  • How can I remember the difference between “beside” and “besides”?
    • Think of “beside” as indicating location (“by the side of”), and “besides” as including something extra (“in addition to”).
  • Are there exceptions to these rules?
    • English language exceptions exist, but for “beside” and “besides,” their uses are quite distinct and generally follow the rules outlined.
  • Can “besides” be used at the beginning of a sentence?
    • Yes, “besides” can start a sentence when introducing an additional point or argument.
Adding Information


What is the difference between beside and besides?

Beside is a preposition that indicates location, specifically meaning “next to” or “at the side of.” Besides, on the other hand, functions as both a preposition and an adverb that means “in addition,” “moreover,” or “apart from.” Aside from their different meanings, beside is used for proximity or position, while besides adds information or provides alternatives.

How is beside used in a sentence?

Beside is used to show the proximity of two nouns or describe the position of something. For example, “Kaia and Rhea sit beside each other in the orchestra’s first violin section.” Beside can be replaced with “next to” in these sentences without changing the meaning or grammatical structure. It is important to use beside correctly when indicating physical proximity.

How is besides used in a sentence?

Besides can act as both an adverb and a preposition. As an adverb, it means “furthermore” or “in addition,” adding information to a statement. For example, “I dislike fishing; besides, I don’t own a boat.” It can also mean “otherwise” in certain contexts. As a preposition, besides means “in addition to” or “apart from.” For example, “Do you have any M&Ms besides the green ones?” In this sentence, besides is used to indicate additional options or choices. It is important to use besides appropriately when adding information or providing alternatives.

What does “beside the point” mean?

“Beside the point” is an idiomatic expression that means something is not relevant or not important to the matter being discussed. It is crucial to use this phrase correctly to convey that a particular argument or information is not significant in the context of the conversation. For example, “He did steal the diamond, but that is beside the point. He stole my heart!” Here, beside the point is used metaphorically to indicate that the diamond theft is not the main focus. It’s important not to confuse this phrase with “besides the point,” which is incorrect usage.

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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