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Session 29

'Beside' and 'besides' look very similar–but they're not the same! Find out how with Phil in this English In A Minute.

Activity 1

Beside vs Besides

'Beside' and 'besides' look very similar–but they're not the same! Find out how with Phil in this English In A Minute.

Watch the video and complete the activity

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Phil

Hi, I'm Phil, and I'm going to tell you the difference between beside and besides.

And it's one small letter, but it's quite a big difference.

Beside (with no 's') is a preposition, and we usually use it to talk about physical position.

So you can say: Put the chair beside the table.

Or: Come and sit beside me.

It's like a more formal version of 'next to'

Now, besides (with an s) is either a preposition or an adverb, and is often used to add information.

Besides knowing grammar well, you need to have a good vocabulary.

You should do something else besides studying.

Here it's like 'as well as'

As an adverb, it's often used to add a more important or stronger point

I'm going to practise now because I've got time and besides, I need to!

It's like a less-formal version of 'moreover'

So, besides remembering that beside is for physical position, remember that besides is for adding information.

Beside vs Besides

Beside is a preposition. We usually use it to talk about physical position. It is a more formal version of 'next to'.

  • There was a book on the table beside him.
  • I sat beside her on the bench.

Besides can be either a preposition or an adverb, and is often used to add information.

  • Besides enjoying reading, she loves riding horses.
  • You should do something else besides playing video games.

As an adverb, it's often used to add a more important or stronger point

  • I want to go and lie down. Besides, I have a headache.
  • I don't want to drive now. Besides, it's really dark.

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