Monday, 26 September 2011

Beside And Besides

Are there a difference between Beside and Besides? Many would have easily thought that one of them is singular, and the other is pural. In fact, this is not the case.

Beside is a preposition. It refers to at a side or next to a subject, and this usually refers to a physical aspect. For example, You are sitting beside me.

Besides is also a preposition and sometimes an adverb, but it has a totally different meaning. It refers to in addition to, furthermore, and apart from. For example, Besides donating to the charity, he has also helped in the fund raising campaign.

Hopefully, this simple and concise explanation can help those who have been making this mistake. In certain cases where the wrong usage of these words can be humorous and totally changed the meaning of the the sentences.

Example: Who is sitting, besides you in the meeting?

I am sure the writer of this sentence wants to ask who is physically sat beside you in the meeting. But what the above sentence really meant is other than you, who is physically sitting in the meeting. Does it mean the rest of the members of the meeting were standing?

Do you have any other examples of such words that are often misinterpreted as singular and pural?

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