Mastering American English: How to Use ‘Besides’ Correctly

how to use besides

If you want to improve your understanding and usage of the word ‘besides’ in American English, this comprehensive guide is here to help. Beside and besides are two words that are often confused, but understanding their differences is essential for effective communication. In this section, we will explore the proper usage of ‘besides’ as both a preposition and an adverb, providing practical tips and examples to enhance your language skills.

  • ‘Beside’ is a preposition that indicates the location of someone or something.
  • ‘Besides’ can function as both a preposition and an adverb.
  • As a preposition, ‘besides’ means “in addition to” or “moreover.”
  • As an adverb, ‘besides’ means “also” or “furthermore.”
  • Proper usage of ‘besides’ can enhance your writing and spoken English.

Understanding the Difference between Beside and Besides

Before diving into how to use ‘besides’ correctly, it’s important to understand the distinction between ‘beside’ and ‘besides’ in American English. While they may sound similar, these words have different meanings and usage.

Beside is a preposition that means “next to” or “at the side of.” It is used to indicate the location of someone or something in relation to another object or person. For example, you might say, “I sat beside my friend during the movie.”

Besides, on the other hand, can be both a preposition and an adverb. As a preposition, it means “in addition to,” “moreover,” or “as well” and is followed by a noun or noun phrase. For instance, you could say, “Besides English, she speaks three other languages.” As an adverb, besides means “also” or “furthermore” and can be used without a following noun or noun phrase. For example, you might say, “I don’t want to go to the party. Besides, I have a lot of work to do.”

Knowing the difference between ‘beside’ and ‘besides’ is crucial for using these words correctly in your writing and conversations. Let’s explore further how to use ‘besides’ effectively in different contexts.

Word Part of Speech Meaning Example
Beside Preposition Next to or at the side of I sat beside my friend during the movie.
Besides Preposition/Adverb In addition to, moreover, also, or furthermore Besides English, she speaks three other languages.

Using ‘Besides’ as a Preposition

When used as a preposition, ‘besides’ adds an additional element to a sentence, indicating something beyond what has already been mentioned. It is a versatile word that can enhance your language skills and enrich your writing and conversations.

For example:

‘Besides’ as a preposition:

  • Besides studying English, she also takes French lessons.
  • I love Italian cuisine, but besides pasta, I also enjoy pizza.
  • Besides being a teacher, he is also a talented musician.

As you can see, ‘besides’ is used to introduce additional information or examples. It helps to expand on a topic, providing more context and depth to your sentences.

besides as a preposition

Incorporating ‘besides’ into your writing and conversations can make them more dynamic and engaging. By using ‘besides’ as a preposition, you can convey extra information or emphasize additional aspects, making your communication more effective and nuanced.


Writing Conversation
Besides her love for photography, she is also an avid traveler. What other hobbies do you have, besides photography?
I have several reasons to visit Paris, besides the famous landmarks. Why do you want to visit Paris, besides seeing the Eiffel Tower?
Besides studying literature, she is also interested in art history. What other subjects do you enjoy, besides literature?

By mastering the usage of ‘besides’ as a preposition, you can express yourself more clearly and add depth to your language. So, go ahead and start incorporating ‘besides’ into your writing and conversations to enhance your communication skills.

Enhancing Your Writing with ‘Besides’

Incorporating ‘besides’ into your writing can add depth and variety, making your language more engaging and impactful. This versatile word can provide additional information, introduce alternative perspectives, and emphasize key points. Whether you are crafting an essay, a blog post, or a business email, using ‘besides’ strategically can elevate your writing to the next level.

One effective way to utilize ‘besides’ is by employing it as a transitional phrase. For example, instead of using repetitive phrases like “in addition” or “also,” you can use ‘besides’ to convey the same meaning. This not only adds variety to your writing but also makes it more concise and cohesive. Consider the following sentence:

“I enjoy hiking. Besides, it allows me to connect with nature and stay physically active.”

Here, ‘besides’ is used as a transition to introduce new information and provide reasons that support the initial statement. This showcases the versatility of ‘besides’ as a tool for improving sentence flow.

Furthermore, ‘besides’ can be used to present alternative perspectives or contrasting ideas. By incorporating ‘besides’ in your writing, you can acknowledge different viewpoints and strengthen your arguments. For instance:

“Many people enjoy traveling to popular tourist destinations. However, besides the well-known landmarks, there are hidden gems waiting to be discovered.”

In this example, ‘besides’ is used to introduce the lesser-known aspect of tourist destinations, highlighting the author’s unique perspective.

Integrating ‘besides’ can also be useful when providing examples or supporting evidence. By using ‘besides’ in your writing, you can expand on your ideas and reinforce your statements. Here is an example:

“Besides providing financial stability, a higher education degree opens up doors to various career opportunities. For example, it increases your chances of securing managerial positions and grants access to specialized fields.”

By incorporating ‘besides’ in your writing, you can effectively enhance your language skills and captivate your readers. Whether you are a student, a professional, or a creative writer, mastering the usage of ‘besides’ can significantly improve the quality of your writing.

Using Besides in Writing

Benefits of Using ‘Besides’ in Writing Examples
Adding depth and variety to your language “Besides being a thrilling adventure, scuba diving allows you to explore the mesmerizing underwater world.”
Presenting alternative perspectives “Besides the potential risks, skydiving offers an unparalleled adrenaline rush.”
Providing examples or supporting evidence “Besides the economic benefits, sustainable practices contribute to environmental preservation.”

Using ‘Besides’ as an Adverb

As an adverb, ‘besides’ can serve as a powerful tool to convey additional information or emphasize a point in your sentences. It adds depth and nuance to your writing, allowing you to provide extra details or expand on a thought. For example:

“I plan to go to the bookstore tomorrow. Besides, they have a sale on all fiction books.”

In this sentence, ‘besides’ is used to indicate that in addition to the main reason of going to the bookstore, there is also the added advantage of a sale on fiction books.

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You can also use ‘besides’ to introduce a contrasting idea or present an alternative perspective. For instance:

“I don’t think we should go hiking today. Besides, the weather forecast predicts heavy rain.”

Here, ‘besides’ is used to present another reason for not going hiking, which is the predicted heavy rain.

Using ‘besides’ as an adverb allows you to enrich your sentences and make your writing more engaging and impactful. It provides you with a versatile tool to enhance your communication and effectively convey your ideas.

besides as an adverb

Whether you’re engaging in casual conversations or formal discussions, knowing how to use ‘besides’ can make your speech more nuanced and persuasive. ‘Besides’ is a versatile word that can add depth to your conversations and help you express your thoughts more effectively. Here are some practical ways to incorporate ‘besides’ into your everyday speech.

  • Provide additional information: Use ‘besides’ to offer extra details or examples that support your point. For example, “I love Italian food, besides pizza and pasta, they also have delicious gelato.”
  • Share alternative perspectives: ‘Besides’ can be used to introduce different viewpoints or counterarguments. For instance, “I think we should go on a hike this weekend. Besides getting some exercise, we’ll also enjoy the beautiful scenery.”
  • Express agreement: When agreeing with someone, you can reinforce your statement by using ‘besides’ to highlight additional reasons or similarities. For example, “I completely agree with your proposal, besides being cost-effective, it also aligns with our long-term goals.”

By incorporating ‘besides’ into your conversations, you can add depth and clarity to your speech. Remember to use it appropriately based on its function as a preposition or an adverb. Practice using ‘besides’ in various contexts to become more comfortable with its usage. The more you integrate ‘besides’ into your everyday conversations, the more natural and fluent your speech will become.

Practical Ways to Use Besides

‘Besides’ is a valuable tool for enhancing your spoken English. Whether you want to provide additional information, share alternative perspectives, or express agreement, ‘besides’ can help you communicate your ideas more effectively. Practice incorporating ‘besides’ into your conversations and enjoy the benefits of using this versatile word.

Expanding Your Vocabulary with ‘Besides’

Broadening your vocabulary with synonyms of ‘besides’ allows you to express similar ideas in different ways and adds flair to your language. Instead of using ‘besides’ repeatedly, you can use alternative words that convey the same meaning. Here are some synonyms for ‘besides’ that you can incorporate into your writing:

Synonym Definition
In addition to Used to introduce an extra item or point
Moreover Further; in addition to what has been said
Furthermore Additionally; moreover
Additionally In addition to what has been mentioned
Moreover Furthermore; in addition to

By using these synonyms, you can vary your language and avoid repetition. For example, instead of saying “Besides that, I also enjoy hiking,” you can say “Moreover, I have a great passion for hiking.” This not only adds variety to your writing but also showcases your command of the English language.

“Furthermore, we should consider the potential impact on the environment,” the speaker emphasized.

Adding Emphasis with ‘Besides’

When you want to emphasize an additional point or highlight something important, ‘besides’ can be used as an adverb. For example:

  1. Besides, she is an excellent singer.
  2. I didn’t invite him to the party. Besides, he doesn’t get along with the other guests.

This usage of ‘besides’ adds emphasis and reinforces the significance of the information you’re providing. It helps to structure your sentences and draw attention to the additional details that support your main idea.

besides synonyms

Using synonyms of ‘besides’ and employing it as an adverb can elevate your language skills and make your writing more engaging. Experiment with different synonyms to find the ones that resonate with your writing style, and embrace the versatility of ‘besides’ to express your thoughts more effectively.

Synonyms: In addition to, moreover, furthermore, additionally
As an adverb: Use ‘besides’ to add emphasis and highlight additional points
Benefits: Enhances language variety, showcases command of English, adds emphasis

Avoiding Common Mistakes with ‘Besides’

To ensure your usage of ‘besides’ is accurate and clear, it’s crucial to be aware of common mistakes and learn how to steer clear of them. One common mistake is using ‘besides’ instead of ‘beside.’ While ‘beside’ means “next to” or “at the side of,” ‘besides’ indicates “in addition to” or “moreover.”

Another error to watch out for is using ‘besides’ as a synonym for ‘except’ or ‘but.’ ‘Besides’ should not be used to convey contrast or opposition; instead, it adds information or provides an additional point.

Furthermore, be careful not to misuse ‘besides’ as a conjunction. It is not a substitute for words like ‘although,’ ‘however,’ or ‘but.’ Using ‘besides’ in this way can lead to confusion and make your writing less coherent and clear.

Common Mistakes with ‘Besides’:

  • Using ‘besides’ instead of ‘beside’
  • Mistaking ‘besides’ for ‘except’ or ‘but’
  • Using ‘besides’ as a conjunction

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your usage of ‘besides’ is accurate and effective. Remember, ‘besides’ is a versatile word that can enhance your writing and communication when used correctly.

Common Mistakes with 'Besides'

Common Mistakes Correct Usage
Using ‘besides’ instead of ‘beside’ I placed my bag beside the chair.
Mistaking ‘besides’ for ‘except’ or ‘but’ I enjoy playing soccer, and besides basketball, it’s my favorite sport.
Using ‘besides’ as a conjunction I had a busy day at work. Besides, I had to attend a meeting in the evening.

Incorporating ‘Besides’ in Business Communication

Effective communication is essential in the business world, and using ‘besides’ appropriately can help you convey your ideas and opinions with clarity and precision. Whether you are participating in meetings, delivering presentations, or writing emails, knowing how to use ‘besides’ will enhance your communication skills and make your message more impactful.

When using ‘besides’ in business communication, it is important to remember its different functions. As a preposition, ‘besides’ can be used to add additional information or examples. For example, you can use it to introduce an extra benefit or advantage of a product or service. Consider this sentence: “Our company offers fast and reliable shipping, and besides, we provide excellent customer support.” Here, ‘besides’ is used to highlight an additional positive aspect of the company.

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Furthermore, ‘besides’ can be used as an adverb to emphasize a point or add an extra thought. For instance, in a sales pitch, you might say, “Our product not only saves you time and money but is also eco-friendly. Besides, it comes with a lifetime warranty.” In this example, ‘besides’ is used to emphasize the added value and reassurance that the product offers.

Benefits of Incorporating ‘Besides’ in Business Communication

  • Enhances clarity and precision in conveying ideas
  • Allows for the addition of extra information or examples
  • Emphasizes key points or advantages
  • Demonstrates a strong command of language and communication skills

“Effective communication is the key to success in any business. Besides, the proper use of ‘besides’ can elevate your professional image and make your message more persuasive.”

Incorporating ‘besides’ in your business communication not only showcases your language proficiency but also adds depth and impact to your message. By using ‘besides’ appropriately, you can effectively convey your thoughts, highlight key information, and engage your audience. Remember to use ‘besides’ as a preposition or adverb depending on its intended function and always ensure its usage aligns with the context and tone of your communication.

besides in business communication

Function Example
Preposition Besides the project deadline, we also need to consider budget constraints.
Adverb We have a talented team, and besides, we have innovative technology to support our goals.

Using ‘Besides’ to Provide Extra Information

Knowing how to use ‘besides’ to provide extra information is a valuable skill that enhances your ability to communicate effectively. Whether you are writing an essay, giving a presentation, or engaging in a conversation, using ‘besides’ appropriately can add depth to your statements and help you convey your thoughts more precisely.

As a preposition, ‘besides’ can be used to introduce additional information or examples that support your main point. For example:

She enjoys playing tennis, but besides that, she is also skilled at swimming and horseback riding.

In this sentence, ‘besides’ is used to add more information about the person’s skills, highlighting that she is not only proficient in tennis but also in swimming and horseback riding.

Additionally, ‘besides’ can function as an adverb to indicate that something is also true or in addition to what has been mentioned. For instance:

I don’t have time to go shopping. Besides, I already have everything I need.

In this example, ‘besides’ emphasizes the speaker’s lack of time for shopping and further emphasizes that they already have everything they need, reinforcing their point.

By using ‘besides’ strategically in your communication, you can provide additional details, offer examples, and strengthen your arguments, making your writing and conversations more engaging and impactful.

using besides to provide extra information

To elevate the quality and sophistication of your academic writing, mastering the usage of ‘besides’ is crucial. Besides, being able to express additional information effectively can greatly enhance the clarity and depth of your arguments. Whether you are writing an essay, research paper, or a thesis, understanding how to incorporate ‘besides’ will elevate your writing to new heights.

One way to use ‘besides’ in academic writing is as a preposition, to indicate additional information or evidence. For example, you can write, “Besides the primary sources, the secondary sources also support this argument.” By using ‘besides’ in this context, you not only indicate that there is more evidence available, but you also highlight the importance of considering multiple perspectives.

Another way to utilize ‘besides’ in academic writing is as an adverb, to provide further explanation or reinforce your point. For instance, you can state, “The study’s findings are significant. Besides, they offer valuable insights into the field of neuroscience.” Here, ‘besides’ strengthens your argument and emphasizes the importance of the research findings.

Examples of ‘Besides’ in Academic Writing:

“Besides the limitations mentioned, this study provides a comprehensive analysis of the data.”

“The results show that the hypothesis is correct. Besides, they present new possibilities for future research.”

By using ‘besides’ appropriately in academic writing, you can demonstrate your command of the English language and add depth to your arguments. Remember to use ‘besides’ as a preposition to introduce additional evidence or as an adverb to emphasize important points. Mastering the usage of ‘besides’ will undoubtedly elevate the quality and sophistication of your academic writing.

besides in academic writing

Usage Example
Preposition “Besides the primary sources mentioned, there are other relevant studies that support this claim.”
Adverb “The data collected is extensive and reliable. Besides, it provides valuable insights into the topic.”

Exploring Idiomatic Expressions with ‘Besides’

Idiomatic expressions add color and uniqueness to your language, and understanding those that include ‘besides’ can enrich your American English vocabulary. These expressions go beyond the literal meaning of the words and often carry a figurative or metaphorical sense. Let’s explore some common idiomatic expressions with ‘besides’ to expand your linguistic repertoire.

1. Besides the point: This expression is used when a statement or argument is irrelevant to the discussion or topic at hand. For example, if someone is discussing the benefits of exercise and another person brings up the topic of healthy eating, you can say, “That’s besides the point. We’re talking specifically about exercise.”

2. Play second fiddle (to someone or something): When you play second fiddle, you are in a subordinate or less important position compared to someone or something else. This expression originates from the world of music, where the second violinist plays a supporting role to the first violinist. For instance, if a colleague always receives recognition for their work while you go unnoticed, you might feel like you’re playing second fiddle.

3. Besides yourself: If someone is besides themselves, it means they are extremely excited, agitated, or overwhelmed with emotion. For instance, if you win a prestigious award, you might be beside yourself with joy and excitement.

4. Besides the fact that: This expression is used to introduce additional information or arguments to support a point. For example, you could say, “Besides the fact that it’s a beautiful city, it also offers excellent job opportunities.”

Remember to use these idiomatic expressions appropriately and in the right context to convey your message effectively. They can add flair and personality to your language, making your communication more engaging and memorable.

idiomatic expressions with besides

Idiomatic Expression Meaning Example Sentence
Besides the point Irrelevant to the topic Your comment is besides the point. We’re discussing a different issue.
Play second fiddle (to someone or something) In a subordinate position I’m tired of always playing second fiddle to my more successful sibling.
Besides yourself Extremely excited or overwhelmed When I won the lottery, I was beside myself with joy.
Besides the fact that In addition to Besides the fact that it’s expensive, the product is also of great quality.
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Incorporating ‘Besides’ in Creative Writing

Whether you’re writing a short story, novel, or poem, incorporating ‘besides’ creatively can captivate your readers and bring your writing to life. This versatile word can add depth, context, and complexity to your storytelling, allowing you to convey additional information or explore multiple perspectives. Here are some effective ways to incorporate ‘besides’ in your creative writing:

  1. Provide additional details: Use ‘besides’ to offer extra information about a character, setting, or situation. For example, “She enjoyed painting landscapes, besides portraits of her loved ones.”
  2. Create contrast or comparison: Employ ‘besides’ to highlight differences or similarities between two ideas or concepts. For instance, “The old house had a mysterious charm, besides a haunting presence.”
  3. Introduce alternative viewpoints: Utilize ‘besides’ to introduce different perspectives or opinions in your narrative. For example, “He loved adventure and excitement, besides the occasional longing for stability.”
  4. Enhance description: Use ‘besides’ to add depth and nuance to your descriptions. For instance, “The forest was filled with towering trees, besides a symphony of chirping birds and rustling leaves.”

Remember to use ‘besides’ sparingly and strategically, ensuring that it enhances your writing without overpowering it. Experiment with different ways to incorporate ‘besides’ in your creative endeavors, and let your imagination take flight.

besides in creative writing

Word Synonym
Besides In addition to
Furthermore Moreover
Additionally Moreover
Moreover Besides

Expand your vocabulary by exploring synonyms for ‘besides,’ which can add variety and richness to your creative writing. The table above provides alternative words that can be used interchangeably with ‘besides,’ allowing you to convey your ideas with precision and flair.


“The sun was shining brightly, casting a warm glow over the meadow. Besides the flowers blooming in vibrant colors, the air was filled with the sweet melody of birdsong.”

“She had a passion for photography, besides her love for painting. Her camera captured fleeting moments, while her brush immortalized them on canvas.”

By incorporating ‘besides’ in your creative writing, you can engage your readers on multiple levels and create a more immersive experience. Whether it’s adding depth to your descriptions, exploring contrasting perspectives, or introducing alternative viewpoints, ‘besides’ can be a valuable tool in your literary arsenal.


Mastering the correct usage of ‘besides’ in American English opens up a world of possibilities to express yourself more effectively and confidently, both in writing and in conversations. Understanding the difference between ‘beside’ and ‘besides’ is crucial in avoiding common mistakes and ensuring clear communication.

As a preposition, ‘beside’ indicates physical proximity or location, while ‘besides’ signifies addition or inclusion. Incorporating ‘besides’ in your writing can enhance your language skills by providing extra information, offering synonyms to diversify your vocabulary, and creating a more engaging narrative in creative writing.

Furthermore, ‘besides’ can also be used as an adverb, conveying the meaning of ‘also’ or ‘furthermore.’ Its versatility allows you to incorporate it into both formal contexts, such as academic writing and business communication, as well as everyday conversations to express your thoughts and opinions more effectively.

By mastering the correct usage of ‘besides,’ you will not only improve your language proficiency but also avoid misunderstandings and convey your ideas with clarity and precision. So, embrace the power of ‘besides’ and elevate your English language skills to new heights!


What is the difference between beside and besides?

Beside is a preposition that means “next to” or “at the side of,” indicating location. Besides can be both a preposition and an adverb. As a preposition, it means “in addition to” or “moreover.” As an adverb, it means “also” or “furthermore.”

How do I use besides as a preposition?

Besides is followed by a noun or noun phrase and is used to indicate something in addition to what has already been mentioned. For example, “Besides English, she speaks Spanish.”

Can I use besides as an adverb without a following noun?

Yes, besides can be used as an adverb without a following noun. It means “also” or “furthermore.” For example, “I love hiking. Besides, it’s a great way to stay active.”

How can I enhance my writing with besides?

Besides is a versatile word that can enrich your writing. You can use it to provide additional information, offer alternative viewpoints, or introduce supporting evidence. For example, “Besides, there are many other factors to consider.”

What are some practical ways to use besides in conversations?

In conversations, you can use besides to express additional thoughts or reasons, provide alternative options, or introduce a different perspective. For example, “Besides, we could also try a different approach.”

Are there any synonyms for besides?

Yes, there are several synonyms for besides, including moreover, furthermore, additionally, and in addition.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when using besides?

One common mistake is using besides when you mean beside. Besides should be used to indicate something in addition to, while beside means next to.

How can I incorporate besides effectively in business communication?

In business communication, you can use besides to provide extra information, present alternative solutions, or highlight additional benefits. For example, “Besides increasing revenue, this strategy will also improve customer satisfaction.”

Can besides be used to provide extra information in a sentence?

Yes, besides is particularly useful when offering additional details or examples to support your main point. It adds depth and clarity to your communication.

Is besides commonly used in academic writing?

Yes, besides can be used in academic writing to present additional evidence, demonstrate a broader understanding of the topic, or introduce alternative perspectives.

Are there any idiomatic expressions that include besides?

Yes, there are idiomatic expressions that use besides, such as “Besides the point” or “Besides oneself with joy.”

How can I incorporate besides effectively in creative writing?

In creative writing, besides can be used to create vivid descriptions, expand character development, or introduce secondary storylines. It adds depth and complexity to your narrative.

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Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of

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