"apart from" vs "other than" vs "aside from" vs "except for" vs "besides"

Subhajit12

Senior Member
Hindi
Hi there, I have a question regarding the usage of "apart from", "other than", "aside from", "except for" and "besides"?

Suppose I have three books A, B and C. My friend knows I have Book A. So if he wants to know how many books I have along with A, Which of the above phrases are correct?

  1. Hey Subha, How many books do you have besides A?
  2. Hey Subha, How many books do you have other than A?
  3. Hey Subha, How many books do you have apart from A?
  4. Hey Subha, How many books do you have aside from A?
  5. Hey Subha, How many books do you have except for A?
I think all of the above are correct But except for. I am not sure. Am I right?

And one more questions, Suppose a contractor who paints houses asks me "Hi sir, do you want to paint your kitchen?" I answer "No, at the moment; I don't think it's need to be painted." Now in these circumstances, which of the following phrases should the contractor use when asks the next question?

  • Contractor: Hi sir, do you want to paint your kitchen? Me: No, at the moment; I don't think it's need to be painted. Contractor: Do you want to paint anything in your house other than/except for/apart from/besides your kitchen?
I think besides is not correct here. the rest of all the phrases are correct. I am not sure. please explain.
 
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  • SimonTsai

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese Mandarin
    • Contractor: Hi sir, do you want to paint your kitchen?
    • Me: No, at the moment; I don't think it's need to be painted.
    • Contractor: Do you want to paint anything in your house other than/except for/apart from/besides your kitchen?
    I think besides is not correct here. I am not sure. please explain.
    Yes, given that 'besides' means 'in addition to'.

    The phrase 'apart from' may not be ambiguous in this context; however, note that it can mean 'except for' or 'in addition to'.
     
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    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Given that it has already been established that you do not want your kitchen painted, it is not required to use any of those. The way you have stated it above suggests that you do want your kitchen painted, or at least leaves the issue ambiguous. If you put any of them (plus aside from) at the beginning of the sentence I think it would reduce the ambiguity.

    Other than/except for/apart from/besides/aside from your kitchen do you want to paint anything in your house ?

    I think you would need to use more phrasing to avoid all ambiguity.
     

    Subhajit12

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Given that it has already been established that you do not want your kitchen painted, it is not required to use any of those. The way you have stated it above suggests that you do want your kitchen painted, or at least leaves the issue ambiguous. If you put any of them (plus aside from) at the beginning of the sentence I think it would reduce the ambiguity.

    Other than/except for/apart from/besides/aside from your kitchen do you want to paint anything in your house ?

    I think you would need to use more phrasing to avoid all ambiguity.
    Is using besides not wrong there? :(

    And what about this part?

    Suppose I have three books A, B and C. My friend knows I have Book A. So if he wants to know how many books I have along with A, Which of the above phrases are correct?

    1. Hey Subha, How many books do you have besides A?
    2. Hey Subha, How many books do you have other than A?
    3. Hey Subha, How many books do you have apart from A?
    4. Hey Subha, How many books do you have aside from A?
    5. Hey Subha, How many books do you have except for A?
    I think all of the above are correct But except for. I am not sure. Am I right?

    Please give your opinions.
     
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    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Is using besides not wrong there?
    I wouldn't say it's absolutely wrong but perhaps your least likely candidate.
    So if he wants to know how many books I have along with A, Which of the above phrases are correct?
    Perhaps you used the best choice, "along with", in your question. However, I think you are right that "except for" is not correct while the rest are fine.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    How many books do you have in addition to A?

    You're not excluding A, you're including A in the idea of the total number of books. So I think it's much better and more logical to use an inclusive word. We both know you have A but how many more do you have?

    Of your choices I don't think "except" works well but the others are okay, with 2 and 3 being the best.

    In the painting question, I agree with others. All your options suggest you have agreed to have the kitchen painted. If you want to make it clear, you have to use an entirely different wording.

    If not the kitchen, are there any other rooms in your house you would like painted?

    [If not the kitchen = now that I know you don't want your kitchen painted]
     
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