is quite important not to confuse them, for they are different in
meaning and usage.
is a preposition, similar in meaning to 'next to', 'at the side
of' or 'by':
'Where is the apple orchard?' 'It’s right beside the
main road. You can’t miss it!'
'We were lying beside the pool when the phone rang.
It was his boss wanting to know why he wasn’t at work.'
It is often used with verbs such as 'standing', 'sitting', 'lying'.
It is also used in the expression beside the point when referring
to something that is not relevant to the subject under discussion:
'Modern art isn’t really art at all!' 'That’s beside the
point when so many young people respond to it with such interest.
They regard it as art.'
is a preposition, meaning 'in addition to', 'as well as' or
'What exam subjects are you taking besides English and
'Were there any boys at the party besides Matt and Dillon?'
It can also introduce a participial phrase:
'Besides bruising his face, he cut his lip and bloodied
Besides also functions as an adverb, meaning 'as well', 'furthermore'
or 'anyway'. It is often used to introduce an afterthought. Consider
'It’s too late to start a round of golf now. We shall never
finish before dark. Besides, it’s starting to rain.'
'He doesn’t have very much money and he doesn’t have very many
prospects. Besides, he’s far too young to think of getting
about towards and toward? One of my own students was
worried that there might be similar pitfalls in store for her when
using these prepositions. Well, I can re-assure all of you that these
prepositions can be used quite interchangeably and that there is no
difference in meaning. The only slight difference in usage is that
toward is perhaps more characteristic of American English and towards
more usual in British English. Toward or towards means
'in the direction of':
'Can you see that light over there?' 'I think it’s coming towards
'There are always more mosquitoes in the air toward evening.
Have you noticed?'