Beside and Besides With Tricks

Beside and Besides look very similar; its similarity confuses many learners as well as me. An extra "s" changes their meanings and uses. Now, we have a mind trick that will help you memorize their usages.

Beside (Preposition)
  • Beside is a preposition meaning next to or at the side of somebody or something 
  • compared with somebody or something
  1. He is sleeping beside her dead body. (= next to)
  2. I always sit beside my best mate.
  3. My body figure is not good beside yours. (compared with your body)

Besides (preposition and adverb)
  • As a preposition, Besides means in addition to, as well as, apart from, and except for.
  • As an adverb, Besides means also, in any case, and in addition. It is used to make an extra comment that adds to what you have just said. (Oxford)
  1. Besides Maths, we have to study History and English. (Preposition, = in addition to Maths, we... .)
  2. We have a lot of things in common besides music.(Preposition)
  3. I don't really want to go. Besides it's too late now. (extra comment, used as an adverb.)

Mind Tricks:
How to learn the differentiation.
Beside has two words: be and side. Hence, it means be on side of someone or something.
 Knowing that Besides means in addition to, we see one additional letter, i.e. "s" added to Beside.  With the help of this "s", we can guess that whenever one additional s is added to the word Beside, then, it means in addition to.(Besides = in addition to)

Beware of Punctuation
  • Beside doesn't take any comma.
Besides usually goes at the beginning of a sentence, but sometimes it can be placed at end of the sentence. Whenever Besides goes at the beginning of a sentence, it always takes a comma just after it.
  1. I don't like those shirts. Besides, they are cheap.
  2. I don't like those shirts; they are cheap besides. (no comma)

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