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I really struggle with these two. I never seem to be able to remember when to use the right one. All my english teachers so far told me the difference but still I'm not able to remember the difference.

Does anyone have a trick how to remember when to use the right one?

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just remember one of those; the other one follows by elimination. Mnemonic for "beside": be on my side. –  Suvrit Jan 1 '11 at 18:07

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

"Beside" means next to, as in

He placed the umbrella beside the umbrella stand instead of in it.

"Besides" means "moreover" or "furthermore" and it is used in the same way.

"We don't want to go to the fair. Besides, we don't have enough money."

It can also mean "in addition to" as in:

Besides the entree, the entire table ordered dessert.

The trick I use is "bedside": if something is near the bed it is be[d]side it. Remove the "d" and you have beside.

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Any "easy-to-remember" trick to not confuse this? Like a rhyme, a saying or somethink like that. I know both of it's meanings, just not which one belongs to what word. –  DrColossos Jan 1 '11 at 15:03
    
@DrColossos He did give a trick. Think of "beside" as "bedside". –  ghoppe Jan 1 '11 at 16:36
    
@ghoppe I was somehow over-reading this. Only saw the beside without the "d". Now it makes sense. Was reading this and thought: what?!? ;) –  DrColossos Jan 1 '11 at 16:56

Being a native English speaker, I never had the need to learn a trick to remember the difference.

So, I will make one up.

  • If you're using the sense of "next to", think of it as a singular place. "Beside."
  • If you mean "furthermore" or "in addition to" think of it as plural. It must have an S! "Besides"
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"Beside", sans s, has always given me a simple and plain feeling, with its basic directional meaning, just like the other straight-forward preposition pals of its: inside, outside, alongside.

"Besides", on the other hand, has a more elaborate set of meanings. It's fancier, more chichi than its sibling, meriting an extra s.

At least that's how I've always semi-consciously justified to myself. The logic of it totally makes sense inside my own noggin ;)

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