'Beside' or 'Besides'? What Is the Difference? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 22 March 2024)

The Difference between Beside and Besides

Beside means 'next to' or 'at the side of', telling us the location of someone or something. It is always a preposition and will have a noun or noun phrase following it:

Nobody wanted to sit beside Carrie.

✅ Please put the desk beside the window.

Besides means 'in addition to', 'moreover', or 'as well', depending on context. It can be either a preposition (followed by a noun or noun phrase) or an adverb (without a following noun or noun phrase):

Besides being a great leader, Benjamin is also a great friend.

✅ I don't really want to watch the film. Besides, it's already too late now.

I've bought all the ingredients on the list and a few others besides.

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Examples from the Media

This three-bedroom bungalow has a busy GO Train line right beside it, which was a dealbreaker for some buyers. —The Globe and Mail (2022)

Australia are the only team besides the All Blacks that consistently play the game that rugby needs to be. —The New Zealand Herald (2011)

This is an important message, as HIV/AIDS affects everybody in a community and its devastating impact cannot be contained or reduced without a concerted effort by all. Besides, we must not be deceived by the relatively low rate of infection we have at the moment. South China Morning Post (1995)

Ofcom has wide-ranging powers over television, radio, telecoms and postal services, dealing with licensing, complaints and much else besides. —BBC (2021)

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