How to use “besides”

Besides can function as an adverb or preposition.

Besides (preposition)

When used as a preposition, besides means ‘in addition to’ or ‘as well as’.

  • Besides her role as a mother of three, Mary runs a charity and works part-time for her husband’s company.
    [= Mary is a mother of three and she runs a charity and she works part-time.]
  • Besides a holiday in Mauritius, the competition winners also received £1000 spending money.
    [= They won a holiday in Mauritius and they won spending money.]

When besides is followed by a verb, that verb must be in the -ing form:

  • Besides being a fantastic footballer, he’s also good at cricket, tennis and squash.
  • Besides he is a fantastic footballer, . . .
  • Besides receiving a salary increase, Mr Lane also got shares in the business.
  • Besides he received a salary increase,  . . .

In all the above examples, we can replace besides with in addition to or as well as.

Besides (adverb)

When used as an adverb, besides means ‘in any case’ or ‘anyway’. We use it to add an extra, usually stronger, fact to an argument.

  • Tom would never survive life in the army; he’s not tough enough. Besides, he’s too old to be accepted.
    [= in any case, he’s too old / anyway, he’s too old]
  • He won’t get the job in Paris – he doesn’t have enough qualifications. And besides, he can’t speak French.
    [= in any case, he can’t speak French / anyway, he can’t speak French]

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