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Common errors > besides  preposition, adverb

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Incorrect or non-standard usage, overuse etc.

I like to go hiking at weekends. Besides, I quite often go to barbecues.
 

The problem

(1) Besides is used in two different ways, as an adverb and a preposition. Students confuse these

(2) Students often choose 'besides' instead of 'also'. 'Also' is far more common and often a better choice.

Basic meaning of 'besides'
'Besides' is a linking word and is used to add ideas together.
Other linking words with this function are, 'also', 'and', 'moreover',
'too' etc.

The two ways of using 'besides'

(1) As a preposition
Syntax: besides + noun or gerund (clause) + clause

The ideas are contained within the same sentence:
Besides is similar in meaning to apart from, in addition to

Besides hiking, I often go to barbecues at the weekend.
Besides the Thomsons, there was hardly anyone there I knew.


(2) As an adverb
Syntax: besides + subj+verb clause

The ideas are contained in different sentences :
Besides is similar in meaning to also, in any case

I don't really feel like going on a picnic. Besides, they said it's going to rain
He hasn't really got the experience we want. Besides, he doesn't speak Japanese.


Here, 'besides' is used to add a final, conclusive point to an argument.
Note: This is a very specific use of 'besides'. Used as an adverb, 'besides' is far more limited than also.

Standard English

I like to go hiking at weekends. I also go to barbecues quite often.
Besides hiking, I quite often go to barbecues at weekends

Online resources

The following online resources may be useful:

matching Linkers (mixed) matching 1 Match sentences or clauses joined by a linking word.
includes tasks    
Eltbase.com


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