grammatical word: besides

I hope everyone is having a good week. Today I would like to write about a word that is very useful in English. The word is “besides”, and it has two meanings.

We use the first meaning of “besides” when we want to say “except for”. In other words, we use it to exclude a certain thing from a group which it would usually go with. For example:

A: Paul just told me he can’t come to our party.

B: Ok. Is there anyone else besides Paul who can’t come?

Besides my parents, there’s no one in the world I love more than you.

I’m allergic to seafood, and Bill doesn’t like pork so, besides those two things, is there any other food we can’t serve?

A: I know you love Star Wars but, besides that, what’s your favorite movie?

B: Besides Star Wars it would have to be The Lord of the Rings.

The second way we use “besides” is to add more information when explaining why we feel a certain way about something. We use it when explaining the reason for something. For example:

I’m too tired to go to Dan’s party, and besides, I don’t really like him.

I turned down the promotion my boss offered me. It would have been too much responsibility, and besides, I like the job I have now.

I think you should join this class with me. You’ll be able to learn a lot of new things, and besides, you might meet some interesting new people.

I don’t mind getting older. I feel much wiser than I used to, and besides, people give me more respect.

Please be careful not to confuse “besides” with an S and “beside” without an S. The word “beside” simply means “next to”. One example would be, “The lamp is beside my bed so I can read at night.” By adding the S the meaning completely changes, so please be careful about S forms when studying English.

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