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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