It is no secret that English grammar, like any other language’s grammar, is formed of complex rules and structures. However, there are other methods to get the grammar wrong, and using the wrong word at the wrong time is one of those methods.

When you look at the words “beside” and “besides”, you can only see a slight difference. The words are made of the same letters but the omission and the addition of the letter “s” change everything. And most of us, on many occasions, have used these words in the wrong places!

Prepositions and Adverbs

Before jumping into understanding how to correctly use the words “beside” and “besides”, you need to know what prepositions and adverbs are.

Definition of Prepositions: In the simplest words, prepositions connect nouns or pronouns to adjectives or verbs in a sentence. These words are used to show some relation between the words which are being connected. Common adjectives are: at, by, with, for, etc.

Examples:

  • Will you sit with us?
  • Stop by at our place tomorrow.
  • The cake not for

Definition of Adverbs: Adverbs are those words or phrases which are used to add some modifications to other adverbs or verbs or any kind of adjectives. These words usually add a manner to certain words.

Examples:

  • Ron ate his lunch
  • Tamanna is the tallest in her class.
  • Cheetah is the fastest

Usage of Beside and Besides

Beside:

Without the letter “s” in the end, the word “beside” is a preposition. Since the word is a preposition, it is invariably followed by a noun. The word without an “s” means “next to”. The word can also be used for the phrase, “at the side of”.

Examples:

  • I sit beside Rohan in the classroom.
  • You can park your vehicle beside the tree.
  • The Italian restaurant is beside the bookstore.

Besides:

With the letter “s” the word “besides” turns it to a preposition. The word “besides” can also be used either as a “preposition” or as an “adverb”. So, the word can be used as the word except or can be used to add information to the sentence like the phrase in addition to. When using in place of “addition to”, besides can be placed before or after the information.

Examples:

  • I have no companions besides
  • Ruchi can speak Spanish and German besides
  • Besides basketball, I also play football.

To summarize:

  • Beside is a preposition.
  • The word beside can be literally used for “next to” or “at the side of”.
  • Besides can be used as a preposition or an adverb.
  • The word besides can be used as “except” or in place of the phrase “in addition to”.