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Vocabulary - Beside & Besides


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Hi there. My name is Emma, and in today's video we're going to look at the difference

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between "besides" and "beside", okay?

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This video is useful to watch if you're a native speaker or if you're an ESL student,

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because this is a mistake that both groups often make. All right, so let's get started.

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We're first going to look at the word "beside" without an "s". So there's no "s".

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"Beside" is a preposition and it means "at the side of" or "next to". So I have a picture

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here. I don't know if you can tell who this is. This is Luke Skywalker. Okay, here's his

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lightsaber and this little green guy, he's not a gremlin. He is Yoda, with his green

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little lightsaber, okay?

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So how can I use "beside" with these two? Well, I could say that "Luke Skywalker is

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beside Yoda." "Yoda is beside Luke Skywalker." So again, very simple. It just means they're

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next to each other.

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Let's look at another example of the word "beside". You can also be "beside yourself".

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What does this mean? It doesn't mean there are two of me standing side-by-side. It doesn't

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mean that. I'll give you an example of what it means.

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So Luke Skywalker, when he found out his teacher, Obi-Wan Kenobi, had died, he was "beside himself

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with grief". So what does that mean? It means, when you're "beside yourself", it means you

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have such a strong emotion that you lose control of yourself. You can't think. You just feel

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so much emotion. Often when somebody dies, you become "beside yourself" with grief. You

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can't think. You just feel so much sadness.

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On the other hand, you can be "beside yourself" with joy. Maybe somebody throws you a really,

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really good surprise birthday party, and you're so touched, that you're just so happy you're

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"beside yourself" with joy. So it means a very strong emotion overwhelms you.

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Our third example of "beside". This is a very common expression we use in English. "That's

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beside the point" -- notice no "s". "That's beside the point." What does this mean?

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It means that something, it doesn't matter. You know usually two people are talking. One

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person is saying something, someone else adds something. The thing they add doesn't matter.

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It doesn't have any relevance, so it's not relevant. It's not important to the conversation.

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It doesn't add anything important to the conversation.

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So what's an example of this? Well, we've been using Star Wars examples, so maybe I'm

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talking to my friend, and maybe we're talking about Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. And

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my friend says something like, "Oh, you know Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, they would've

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made a fantastic couple. They're both good-looking, they have great personalities. I think they

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should've been a couple."

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Maybe I'd be weirded out and say, "But they're brother and sister!" My friend could say,

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"Well, that's beside the point." Meaning: it's not relevant. My friend doesn't care

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about that. It doesn't matter. The main thing is, in his opinion, their personalities, and

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things like that. They'd make a cute couple. Okay, so that's "beside the point".

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Another example, maybe my friend wants to borrow my car, but unfortunately the tire

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is flat. So my friend might say: -"Can I borrow your car?"

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-"No you can't, the tire is flat."

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My friend could say, -"But I'm a good driver." -"Well, you may be a good driver, but that's

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beside the point. It doesn't matter if you're a good driver or not. You can't drive the

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car because the car's tire is flat."

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Now let's look at some examples with the word "besides". We have more than one meaning for

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the word "besides" with an "s", okay? So the first meaning we'll look at is when "besides"

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means "in addition to", okay? What do I mean by this? Well, here's my example. Somebody

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might ask, "Who was at the restaurant besides Chewbacca and Han Solo?" So this means we

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already know Chewbacca was there and Han Solo was there. We want to know who else was there.

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So, in addition to Han Solo and Chewbacca, who else was there? Okay?

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Another example: "Besides watching Star Wars, what else do you like to do?" Somebody might

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ask me this question. Meaning, as you can see from all my examples, I like the Star

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Wars movies. In addition to watching Star Wars, what do I like to do? Well, that's a

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very good question. I like to read. I like to go hiking, traveling, watching other TV

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shows, including Star Trek. So "besides watching Star Wars" means "in addition to watching

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Star Wars". So you know I like Star Wars, what else do I like, okay?

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Another thing that "besides" means; this is a different meaning. It means we're giving

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an afterthought. So what do I mean by this? Well, here's my first example: "I don't want

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to go outside. It's too cold. Besides, Jar Jar Binks is there." Jar Jar Binks is of course

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another Star Wars character.

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So I give my first reason for not wanting to go outside. Why don't I want to go outside?

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Well, it's too cold, and then I think for a second and I'm like, "Oh, yeah, and also

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Jar Jar Binks is going to be there, and I don't like Jar Jar Binks". Okay, so it's an afterthought.

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Our second example: "I'm too tired to blow up the Death Star right now", okay? Then we

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have our "besides" with an "s". "Besides, we need to fix R2-D2". What does this mean?

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Well, it means your first thought: you're too tired to do something. And then you have

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a second thought, an afterthought. What's that afterthought? Oh, that we need to fix

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our robot. So "besides" comes after the first thought. You have the first thought, then

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you use "besides" and you write your second thought.

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Notice where it is in the sentence. It's at the beginning. "Besides," comma. We need to

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do this, okay. Now let's look at another example of "besides" and its meaning.

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Okay, so now the final meaning of "besides".

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"Besides" can also mean except. So let's look at an example. "No ship besides the Millennium

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Falcon can fly that fast". So this means the exact same thing as "No ship except the Millennium

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Falcon can fly that fast." Okay, so it also can mean "except". All right, so let's do

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a practice quiz together.

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Question number one: "________ studying for your test, what else will you do tonight?"

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Do you think it's "beside" or "besides?"

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In this case, it is "besides" with an "s". "Besides studying for your test, what else

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will you do tonight?" So in this case, "besides" means in addition. In addition to studying

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for your test, what else are you going to do?

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Question number two: "Do you want to sit ______ Alice or Aya?"

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What do you think it is, "beside" or "besides"?

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If you said "beside" without an "s", you're correct. So again, you have two people, who

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sits next to who? So this means next to.

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Question number three: "That's ______ the point."

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Is it "That's beside the point." or "That's besides the point."?

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Now for native speakers this question might be a little difficult, because you may have

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heard both. The correct answer:

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without an "s": "That's beside the point." Okay?

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Question number four: "Beside/besides Raj's house, every house in the neighborhood has

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a driveway." What do you think it is?

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In this case, with an "s". So what does "besides" mean in this case? Besides Raj's house, this

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means, except Raj's house. So every house except Raj's house has a driveway. His house

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is the only house that does not have a driveway.

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Okay, so I just wanted to apologize to anyone who may have watched this video and hates

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Star Trek, sorry, not Star Trek -- Star Wars. Sorry about that. So hopefully you enjoy the Star Wars movies, and so this

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video will be interesting for you. In terms of "beside" and "besides", I want to invite

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you to come visit our website at www.engvid.com . We have a quiz there, so you can practice

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to make sure you really understand the difference between "besides" and "beside". So until next time, take care.

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Learn English for free www.engvid.com

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