'Beside' vs 'Besides': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on November 1, 2023

Are you wondering the difference between 'beside' vs. 'besides?' You came to the right place.

Here is the short answer, in case you are in a hurry: 

  • 'Beside' is a preposition and adverb that means something is next to something else.
  • 'Besides' is a preposition, adverb, and adjective that means together with, except, or other than.  

However, there is more to learn about the difference between these terms. So, keep reading!

What is the Difference Between 'Beside' vs. 'Besides?'

'Beside' and 'besides' are similar but have completely different meanings. Unlike other English terms, adding an s to the end does not make 'beside' plural because it is a preposition and adverb that means nearby, with, or except.

And 'besides' is a separate word that can be a preposition, adverb, or adjective. So, it can introduce or show a verb's relationship, position, location, or status, and it can describe a verb or noun.

As an adverb, 'besides' means also, in addition, furthermore, or moreover, and as an adjective, it means in a different manner, method, or way.

Definition of 'Beside': What is the Meaning of 'Beside?'

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines 'beside' as a preposition that means:

  • Next to

It can also mean:

  • By the side of something
  • In comparison to
  • On par with
  • Irrelevant to

Synonyms and Similar Words to 'Beside'

  • Meaningless
  • Irrelevant
  • Impertinent
  • Immaterial
  • Useless
  • Inapplicable
  • Unimportant
  • Insignificant
  • Peripheral
  • External
  • Pointless

Definition of 'Besides': What is the Meaning of 'Besides?'

The same defines 'besides' as a preposition that means:

  • Except or other than
  • In addition or together with

As an adverb, 'besides' means:

  • Furthermore, as well, moreover, or also

When used as an adjective, the definition of 'besides' is:

  • In addition to or different from

Synonyms and Similar Words to 'Besides'

  • Including
  • Beside
  • Plus
  • Together with
  • Above
  • Beyond
  • Above and beyond

Tips: When and How to Use 'Beside' vs. 'Besides'

Even after learning the definitions of these words, you are likely wondering when and how to use them. So, here are some tips for using 'beside' vs. 'besides': 

  • Use 'beside' when you are talking about something that is physically located next to something else.

For example, you might say:

Will you bring me the letter on my desk? It is beside the phone. 

  • Use 'beside' to say something is comparable.

As an example, you could say:

When you look at them beside each other, there is not a significant difference. 

  • Use 'besides' to say except for something.

So, I might say:

I like all of the flavors besides the cucumber, but watermelon and lemon are my favorites

  • Use 'besides' to say in addition to something.

For example, you might hear someone say:

No one cares what Sally said about you. Besides, you know you are a better dancer than her. 

  • Use 'besides' to say in addition to something else.

As an example, you can say:

Besides the Versace Crystal Noir parfum, I like Flowerbomb eau de toilette. So, if you want to buy me perfume for my birthday, I would love either of those fragrances. 

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Beside' vs. 'Besides'

Pronunciation is often overlooked when people are learning new terms. However, with words like 'beside' vs. 'besides,' you must use the correct pronunciation. Otherwise, your audience may not understand your message.

So, here is a brief guide you can reference for pronouncing 'beside' and 'besides.'

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'beside':


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'besides':


As you can see, the pronunciations are nearly the same. However, saying 'beside' without the can significantly alter the meaning of your statement.

Sample Sentences Using 'Beside' vs. 'Besides'

Finally, here are some sample sentences using 'beside' vs. 'besides.' Reading them should help you remember the difference between these words and learn different ways to use them.


  • If you look beside the man with the red hat, you will see the owner of the team.
  • We looked at a house beside the seashore, but it is too far out of our budget.
  • The first dollar she ever made sits beside the picture of her family as a reminder of how far she has come.
  • Let's sit at the table beside the window so we can see the gorgeous sunset.
  • The vice president stood beside him during the ceremony.


  • Besides being an incredible ball player, he is a hometown hero who donates money and time to local communities in need.
  • They are never going to see eye to eye. Besides, I think they enjoy their rivalry.
  • Besides the purple flowers, are there any others you like?
  • If you were willing to go on vacation somewhere besides Cancun and Las Vegas, I would love to go.
  • Besides watching the sunrise, she loved to go to the middle of nowhere to see the stars.
  • I would vote for any Democrat besides him. He is too liberal.


  • They sat beside each other but didn't say anything besides, 'Hello.'
  • Besides wanting to sit beside him, she wanted him to notice her.
  • You can put anything beside the bed besides that hideous side table.

Final Review: 'Beside' vs. 'Besides'

Wow! We went over a ton of information. So, here is a quick recap of what you learned about the difference between 'beside' vs. 'besides': 

  • 'Beside' is a preposition and adverb that means next to, comparable, or irrelevant to something. 
  • 'Besides' is a preposition, adverb, and adjective that describes something as moreover, in addition to, as well, or other than, or in exception to something or someone else. 

English speakers and writers of all levels struggle with terms like these occasionally. So, if you ever find yourself confused about which term to use, you can always return to this lesson for a review of this lesson.

You can also learn about the meanings of hundreds of other commonly misused, misspelled, and mispronounced terms in the confusing words section here.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WritingTips.org Newsletter
Receive information on
new articles posted, important topics, and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.