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Hi there. My name is Emma, and in today's video we're going to look at the difference
between "besides" and "beside", okay?
This video is useful to watch if you're a native speaker or if you're an ESL student,
because this is a mistake that both groups often make. All right, so let's get started.
We're first going to look at the word "beside" without an "s". So there's no "s".
"Beside" is a preposition and it means "at the side of" or "next to". So I have a picture
here. I don't know if you can tell who this is. This is Luke Skywalker. Okay, here's his
lightsaber and this little green guy, he's not a gremlin. He is Yoda, with his green
little lightsaber, okay?
So how can I use "beside" with these two? Well, I could say that "Luke Skywalker is
beside Yoda." "Yoda is beside Luke Skywalker." So again, very simple. It just means they're
next to each other.
Let's look at another example of the word "beside". You can also be "beside yourself".
What does this mean? It doesn't mean there are two of me standing side-by-side. It doesn't
mean that. I'll give you an example of what it means.
So Luke Skywalker, when he found out his teacher, Obi-Wan Kenobi, had died, he was "beside himself
with grief". So what does that mean? It means, when you're "beside yourself", it means you
have such a strong emotion that you lose control of yourself. You can't think. You just feel
so much emotion. Often when somebody dies, you become "beside yourself" with grief. You
can't think. You just feel so much sadness.
On the other hand, you can be "beside yourself" with joy. Maybe somebody throws you a really,
really good surprise birthday party, and you're so touched, that you're just so happy you're
"beside yourself" with joy. So it means a very strong emotion overwhelms you.
Our third example of "beside". This is a very common expression we use in English. "That's
beside the point" -- notice no "s". "That's beside the point." What does this mean?
It means that something, it doesn't matter. You know usually two people are talking. One
person is saying something, someone else adds something. The thing they add doesn't matter.
It doesn't have any relevance, so it's not relevant. It's not important to the conversation.
It doesn't add anything important to the conversation.
So what's an example of this? Well, we've been using Star Wars examples, so maybe I'm
talking to my friend, and maybe we're talking about Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. And
my friend says something like, "Oh, you know Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, they would've
made a fantastic couple. They're both good-looking, they have great personalities. I think they
should've been a couple."
Maybe I'd be weirded out and say, "But they're brother and sister!" My friend could say,
"Well, that's beside the point." Meaning: it's not relevant. My friend doesn't care
about that. It doesn't matter. The main thing is, in his opinion, their personalities, and
things like that. They'd make a cute couple. Okay, so that's "beside the point".
Another example, maybe my friend wants to borrow my car, but unfortunately the tire
is flat. So my friend might say: -"Can I borrow your car?"
-"No you can't, the tire is flat."
My friend could say, -"But I'm a good driver." -"Well, you may be a good driver, but that's
beside the point. It doesn't matter if you're a good driver or not. You can't drive the
car because the car's tire is flat."
Now let's look at some examples with the word "besides". We have more than one meaning for
the word "besides" with an "s", okay? So the first meaning we'll look at is when "besides"
means "in addition to", okay? What do I mean by this? Well, here's my example. Somebody
might ask, "Who was at the restaurant besides Chewbacca and Han Solo?" So this means we
already know Chewbacca was there and Han Solo was there. We want to know who else was there.
So, in addition to Han Solo and Chewbacca, who else was there? Okay?
Another example: "Besides watching Star Wars, what else do you like to do?" Somebody might
ask me this question. Meaning, as you can see from all my examples, I like the Star
Wars movies. In addition to watching Star Wars, what do I like to do? Well, that's a
very good question. I like to read. I like to go hiking, traveling, watching other TV
shows, including Star Trek. So "besides watching Star Wars" means "in addition to watching
Star Wars". So you know I like Star Wars, what else do I like, okay?
Another thing that "besides" means; this is a different meaning. It means we're giving
an afterthought. So what do I mean by this? Well, here's my first example: "I don't want
to go outside. It's too cold. Besides, Jar Jar Binks is there." Jar Jar Binks is of course
another Star Wars character.
So I give my first reason for not wanting to go outside. Why don't I want to go outside?
Well, it's too cold, and then I think for a second and I'm like, "Oh, yeah, and also
Jar Jar Binks is going to be there, and I don't like Jar Jar Binks". Okay, so it's an afterthought.
Our second example: "I'm too tired to blow up the Death Star right now", okay? Then we
have our "besides" with an "s". "Besides, we need to fix R2-D2". What does this mean?
Well, it means your first thought: you're too tired to do something. And then you have
a second thought, an afterthought. What's that afterthought? Oh, that we need to fix
our robot. So "besides" comes after the first thought. You have the first thought, then
you use "besides" and you write your second thought.
Notice where it is in the sentence. It's at the beginning. "Besides," comma. We need to
do this, okay. Now let's look at another example of "besides" and its meaning.
Okay, so now the final meaning of "besides".
"Besides" can also mean except. So let's look at an example. "No ship besides the Millennium
Falcon can fly that fast". So this means the exact same thing as "No ship except the Millennium
Falcon can fly that fast." Okay, so it also can mean "except". All right, so let's do
a practice quiz together.
Question number one: "________ studying for your test, what else will you do tonight?"
Do you think it's "beside" or "besides?"
In this case, it is "besides" with an "s". "Besides studying for your test, what else
will you do tonight?" So in this case, "besides" means in addition. In addition to studying
for your test, what else are you going to do?
Question number two: "Do you want to sit ______ Alice or Aya?"
What do you think it is, "beside" or "besides"?
If you said "beside" without an "s", you're correct. So again, you have two people, who
sits next to who? So this means next to.
Question number three: "That's ______ the point."
Is it "That's beside the point." or "That's besides the point."?
Now for native speakers this question might be a little difficult, because you may have
heard both. The correct answer:
without an "s": "That's beside the point." Okay?
Question number four: "Beside/besides Raj's house, every house in the neighborhood has
a driveway." What do you think it is?
In this case, with an "s". So what does "besides" mean in this case? Besides Raj's house, this
means, except Raj's house. So every house except Raj's house has a driveway. His house
is the only house that does not have a driveway.
Okay, so I just wanted to apologize to anyone who may have watched this video and hates
Star Trek, sorry, not Star Trek -- Star Wars. Sorry about that. So hopefully you enjoy the Star Wars movies, and so this
video will be interesting for you. In terms of "beside" and "besides", I want to invite
you to come visit our website at www.engvid.com . We have a quiz there, so you can practice
to make sure you really understand the difference between "besides" and "beside". So until next time, take care.
Learn English for free www.engvid.com