Beside or Besides?

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Beside or Besides?

What is the difference between "beside" and "besides"?
  • "Beside" means "next to." For example:
    • Sit beside me.
  • "Besides" means "apart from" or "in addition to." For example:
    • It includes everyone besides me.
    • (Here, "besides" means "apart from.")
    • Besides me, who else hates celery?
    • (In this example, "besides" best translates as "in addition to.")
beside or besides

Beside or Besides the Point?

Technically, the terms "beside the point" and "besides the point" both make sense, but the idiom is "beside the point."

beside or besides the point?
  • Beside the Point. The term "beside the point" means "next to the point" or "off target." It is a common idiom in English. For example:
    • Martin Luther King Jr. could have argued that separate water fountains were too expensive, but cost was beside the point. (Author Michelle Alexander)
  • Besides the Point. The term "besides the point" is logically sound. It can mean "in addition to the point" or "aside from the point," the latter of which is good fit for the idiomatic meaning. Nevertheless, the idiom is "beside the point."
    • I'm going to keep making films I believe in. Whether I am successful or not is besides the point. (Actor Ajay Devgan)

More about "Beside" and "Besides"

"Beside" and "besides" sound similar, but their meanings are quite different.


The word "beside" is a preposition. It means "close to" or "next to."

  • Park your car beside mine.
  • Your hat is beside the dog basket.


The preposition "besides" means "in addition to" or "apart from." As an adverb, it means "furthermore" or "and another thing."

  • Besides Craig, who else caught a bass?
  • (Besides is a preposition in this example. It means "apart from.")
  • Besides, it's not just about determination.
  • (Besides is an adverb in this example. It means "furthermore.")
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are prepositions? What are adverbs? List of easily confused words