If you're learning English in India, you might have wondered about the words "beside" and "besides." They sound alike but mean different things. It's important to know how to use them correctly, not just for tests but also in everyday talks.

Many think "beside" and "besides" are the same, but they're not. Both can talk about closeness or adding something, which causes confusion. But they have slight differences that are easy to miss.

Don't worry! This article explains the words with clear beside vs besides examples. Plus, we have exercises to practice what you learn. Let's start understanding "beside vs besides" now!

What's The Confusion?

Many learners often mix up 'beside' and 'besides', resulting in incorrect English usage. Directly addressing this issue, let's dive into why this happens. Primarily, the two words look and sound quite similar, causing people to use them interchangeably.

Let’s examine some incorrect examples:

  1. "Amit is sitting besides Raj." (Incorrect usage of 'besides')

  2. "The mother has other concerns beside her child's schooling." (Incorrect usage of 'beside')

So, let's look at what they actually mean.

Beside - Meaning, Usage, and Examples

'Beside' is a preposition that generally indicates the position or location of something. In simple words, it means 'at the side of' or 'next to'. For instance, when you say "The pen is beside the notebook", you are stating the pen's location relative to the notebook.

Consider this dialogue between two friends shopping at a local bazaar:

  • Ravi: "Where did you keep my bag?"

  • Megha: "It's right beside your wallet."

In this example, Megha uses 'beside' to indicate the bag’s position relative to Ravi’s wallet.

Besides - Meaning, Usage, and Examples

On the other hand, 'besides' can function both as a preposition and an adverb. As a preposition, it essentially means 'in addition to'. As an adverb, it denotes 'moreover' or 'furthermore'.

Now imagine this scenario:

  • Naina: "What are we having for dinner?"

  • Kunal: "Besides rajma chawal, I've also made your favourite paneer tikka."

In this dialogue, Kunal uses 'besides' to express that there is something additional to the rajma chawal for dinner.

Understanding these differences between beside vs besides can enhance your English communication skills. Keep practising with more such examples and dialogues relevant to your everyday life in India.

Beside vs Besides - Spotting The Difference

Knowing when to use 'beside' and 'besides' can be tricky, but with practice, you can master it perfectly! Let's solve the beside vs besides meaning confusion right here and now.




It implies being "at the side of" or "next to."

It means "other than" or "in addition to."


"The book is beside the lamp on the table."

"Besides English, I also speak Hindi and Marathi."

Understanding this 'beside vs besides' difference is crucial. As a minor slip could alter your sentence's meaning entirely. For instance, consider these two sentences:

1. "Beside his job, he also works as a freelance writer."

2. "Besides his job, he also works as a freelance writer."

In the first sentence, 'beside' indicates that his job is physically located next to his freelancing work—a nonsensical context. In contrast, the second sentence using 'besides' correctly means that he does freelance writing in addition to his regular job. Quite different meanings, right?

Common Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Here are some common mistakes when it comes to 'beside' and 'besides':

  1. Using 'beside' when trying to express an additional point. Incorrect - "Beside studying, I love playing cricket." Correct - "Besides studying, I love playing cricket."

  2. Using 'besides' when referring to physical proximity. Incorrect - "My house is besides the park." Correct - "My house is beside the park."

To avoid these mistakes, keep these practical solutions in mind:

  • Always remember their basic meanings. 'Beside' denotes location, while 'besides' implies addition or exception.

  • Read and write frequently. Using 'beside vs besides' exercises in your study routine could be beneficial.

  • Practice speaking English. Use both words in conversations and ask for corrections if needed.

  • Work on 'beside vs besides' worksheets to reinforce your understanding.

For more insightful tips on enhancing your English proficiency, check out our blog at Clapingo.

Quiz Time!

Let's test your understanding with a short quiz:

  1. Which word would fit in this sentence? "___ being a talented singer, she also plays the violin."

  2. What about this one? "I stood ___ him while he made his speech."

  3. And in this sentence? "Are there any subjects you enjoy ___ history?"


  1. Besides - here it means ‘in addition to’.

  2. Beside - it refers to location or position.

  3. Besides - indicates other interests apart from history.

Improve Your English With Clapingo

Understanding these small differences in English is important for professionals. Whether writing an email, talking about a project, or working internationally. Clapingo gets this and offers coaching with native English speakers to help you. Our platform is flexible and easy to use, fitting various needs and times. Start improving your English with Clapingo today – book a trial now!

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up, we now understand the difference between 'beside' and 'besides'. These two words might look similar, but they have different meanings and uses. Knowing such details helps you speak and write English more clearly.

  • 'Beside' means next to, like in "The pen is beside the notebook."

  • 'Besides' means in addition to, like in "Besides my daily chores, I also have to finish this assignment."

It might seem hard at first, but keep practising. Clapingo is here to help with flexible schedules and personal coaching. Want to get even better at English grammar? Check Clapingo's English Grammar guide made for learners.


1. What is the difference between 'beside' and 'besides'?

'Beside' is a preposition that means 'next to' or 'at the side of'. For example, "The pen is beside the notebook." On the other hand, 'besides' can also be used as a preposition meaning 'apart from'. Or it can be an adverb meaning 'also' or 'additionally'. For instance, "Besides English, he also speaks Hindi."

2. Can you give a few more examples to clarify the usage of beside vs besides?

As a preposition: "Beside you in this journey, we want to help you improve your English skills."

As an adverb: "Besides learning grammar rules, practising spoken English with Clapingo can boost your confidence."

3. How critical is it to use 'beside' and 'besides' correctly in spoken English?

Precise usage enhances your communication skills and reflects well on your command of the language. However, remember that fluency and confidence are also key in spoken English. Don't let small mistakes hold you back!