Aside vs. Besides: Know the Difference
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on November 20, 2023
"Aside" often refers to a comment made to a select audience or a deviation from the main topic; "Besides" means in addition to or apart from.
"Aside" can also signify a physical placement, indicating something is to the side or away from the main area. In contrast, "Besides" is used in arguments or discussions to introduce counterpoints or additional reasons.
When "Aside" is used, it often implies a temporary shift in focus or attention, highlighting a secondary or less important point. "Besides," however, is used to strengthen a point by adding supplementary information.
In literature and drama, "aside" is a technique where a character's dialogue is spoken but not heard by other characters on stage. Contrastingly, "Besides" is used in everyday language to add more information or to list additional items or arguments.
"Aside" is typically used to indicate a statement or remark that deviates from the main subject, often as a brief comment or thought. "Besides," on the other hand, serves to introduce additional information, emphasizing an extra point or an alternative consideration.
"Aside" can function as a noun, verb, or adverb, depending on its usage in a sentence. "Besides," predominantly used as a preposition or a conjunction, connects clauses or introduces additional elements in a sentence.
Part of Speech
Can be noun, verb, or adverb
Mainly used as preposition or conjunction
Usage in Literature
Technique for secret dialogue or thoughts
Not specifically used in a literary sense
Meaning in Conversation
Implies deviation or secondary point
Suggests addition or extra information
Use in Arguments
Highlights a tangential point
Introduces counterpoints or additional reasons
Spatial or Contextual Use
Refers to placement to the side
Means "apart from" or "in addition to"
Aside and Besides Definitions
A remark not intended to be heard by everyone present.
He whispered an aside to his friend during the meeting.
In addition to; also.
Besides English, she speaks French fluently.
Used in plays for characters' secret thoughts.
The actor delivered a poignant aside about the character's past.
Apart from; other than.
There’s no one here besides us.
Out of one's thoughts or consideration.
Put your doubts aside and trust me.
As a further reason or argument.
You should join us for the hike; besides, it’s great exercise.
To or toward the side
Used to introduce an additional point.
Besides, I think it’s too late to change plans now.
Out of one's thoughts or mind
Put my doubts aside.
Used to indicate that one option is better.
Why go out for dinner? Besides, I prefer home-cooked meals.
A day set aside for relaxing.
In addition; also
I could smell the ocean, some pine trees, and something else besides.
In reserve; away
Put a little money aside.
I'm too tired to go for a walk. Besides, it's raining.
Being excepted or excluded from consideration
All joking aside, can you swim two miles?.
Has been to Mexico but nowhere besides.
A piece of dialogue intended for the audience and supposedly not heard by the other actors on stage.
In addition to
She was given a scholarship besides the award.
A remark made in an undertone so as to be inaudible to others nearby.
Except for; other than
No one besides the owner could control the angry dog.
A parenthetical departure; a digression.
In addition, in addition to.
To or on one side so as to be out of the way.
Move aside, please, so that these people can come through.
Other than; except for; instead of.
I don't want to go anywhere besides India.
Not in perfect symmetry; distorted laterally, especially of the human body.
An incidental remark to a person next to one made discreetly but not in private, audible only to that person.theatre (theatre) A brief comment by a character addressing the audience, unheard by other characters.
(conjunctive) Also; in addition.
A minor related mention, an afterthought.
(conjunctive) Used to emphasize an additional point, especially an important or stronger reason; moreover; furthermore.
I don't feel like going out tonight. Besides, I have to work tomorrow morning anyway.
On, or to, one side; out of a straight line, course, or direction; at a little distance from the rest; out of the way; apart.
Thou shalt set aside that which is full.
But soft! but soft! aside: here comes the king.
The flames were blown aside.
I have been to Spain but nowhere besides.
Out of one's thoughts; off; away; as, to put aside gloomy thoughts.
(obsolete) On one side.
So as to be heard by others; privately.
Then lords and ladies spake aside.
On one side.
Something spoken aside; as, a remark made by a stageplayer which the other players are not supposed to hear.
More than that; over and above; not included in the number, or in what has been mentioned; moreover; in addition.
The men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides ?
To all beside, as much an empty shade,An Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead.
A line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage
Over and above; separate or distinct from; in addition to; other than; else than. See Beside, prep., 3, and Syn. under Beside.
Besides your cheer, you shall have sport.
A message that departs from the main subject
Making an additional point; anyway;
I don't want to go to a restaurant; besides, we can't afford it
She couldn't shelter behind him all the time and in any case he wasn't always with her
On or to one side;
Stood aside to let him pass
Threw the book aside
Put her sewing aside when he entered
He has a Mercedes, too
Out of the way (especially away from one's thoughts);
Brush the objections aside
Pushed all doubts away
Not taken into account or excluded from consideration;
These problems apart, the country is doing well
All joking aside, I think you're crazy
In a different direction;
Turn away one's face
Placed or kept separate and distinct as for a purpose;
Had a feeling of being set apart
Quality sets it apart
A day set aside for relaxing
In reserve; not for immediate use;
Started setting aside money to buy a car
Put something by for her old age
Has a nestegg tucked away for a rainy day
A departure from the main subject in speech or writing.
She made a humorous aside about her vacation.
Positioned to the side or away from a main area.
He set the notes aside on the desk.
Repeatedly Asked Queries
Can "besides" start a sentence?
Yes, often to introduce an additional point.
Is "aside" used in formal writing?
Yes, particularly in literature and scholarly works.
Does "besides" always imply an addition?
Generally, it introduces extra information or alternatives.
Is "aside" a directional term?
Yes, it can indicate something placed to the side.
Is "aside" commonly used in everyday conversation?
Yes, especially for brief, tangential comments.
What is an example of "aside" in a play?
A character quietly revealing their thoughts to the audience.
Can "besides" mean "except for"?
In some contexts, it can imply "other than."
Are "asides" always spoken out loud?
In drama, they are spoken; in prose, they can be internal thoughts.
Does "aside" always indicate secrecy?
Often, but not always; context matters.
Can "besides" function as a conjunction?
Yes, it can connect clauses in a sentence.
Is "besides" appropriate in academic writing?
Yes, when used to add supplementary points.
Is "aside" commonly used in speeches?
Yes, for rhetorical effect or to address a specific audience.
Can "besides" be used to strengthen an argument?
Yes, by adding more supporting details or reasons.
Can "aside" be used in non-dramatic writing?
Yes, to denote a digression or parenthetical comment.
Does "besides" imply equality among items listed?
Not necessarily, it can simply add items to a list or argument.
Can "aside" indicate a physical movement?
Yes, like moving something to the side.
Can "besides" introduce a contrasting point?
Yes, especially in arguments or discussions.
Is "aside" a formal term?
It can be both formal and informal, depending on usage.
How does "besides" differ from "beside"?
"Besides" adds information, "beside" means next to.
Does "besides" always follow a comma?
Not always, but it often does when introducing a new clause.
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Written byShumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.