Besides = in addition to, inclusion

skydown13

Senior Member
Mandarin
I've gone through multiple threads regarding the word, Besides. Many state that besides means in addition to and including.

Besides Japan, I've been to China and Korea. = In addition to Japan, I've been to China and Korea. This one makes sense but how about the following four?

1. Besides $10, I don't have anything. (I don't think in addition to works here. Does this sentence make sense?)
2. Besides $10 ,I have nothing. (In addition to $10, I have nothing. Sounds weird...)
3. Besides my brother, I don't know anyone here. (This sounds exclusion to me. "Besides my brother, I know Jack." Would be inclusion.)
4. Besides John, everyone else went to the field trip last week. (So..John did go to the field trip?)

Are these bad sentences or wrong sentences? Please clear this up for me.
 
Last edited:
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No, 'apart from' would be good in all of those sentences. But if you have nothing and $10, you don't have two things. You haven't got (1) nothing, and also (2) $10. 'Besides' requires this. You have been to (1) Japan, and (2) China and Korea. So besides Japan (it might help to visualize it literally as one thing beside another), you have also visited other countries.

    'Apart from' is different. It can have a negative. Apart from Japan, I have visited no other Asian countries. So I have (1) visited Japan, but there is no (2).
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Besides can mean apart from OR as well as.

    Besides/Apart from this ten-dollar bill, I have nothing.

    Besides/As well as this ten-dollar bill, I have some more money at home.

    cross-posted

     

    skydown13

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    No, 'apart from' would be good in all of those sentences. But if you have nothing and $10, you don't have two things. You haven't got (1) nothing, and also (2) $10. 'Besides' requires this. You have been to (1) Japan, and (2) China and Korea. So besides Japan (it might help to visualize it literally as one thing beside another), you have also visited other countries.

    'Apart from' is different. It can have a negative. Apart from Japan, I have visited no other Asian countries. So I have (1) visited Japan, but there is no (2).
    I understand that Apart from works in these sentences because it can mean both inclusion and exclusion.
    So sentence 1, 2 and 3 are all wrong. What about 4? Besides John, everyone else went to the field trip. Both John and Everyone went.
     

    skydown13

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Besides can mean apart from OR as well as.

    Besides/Apart from this ten-dollar bill, I have nothing.

    Besides/As well as this ten-dollar bill, I have some more money at home.

    cross-posted

    So "Besides this ten-dollar bill, I have nothing." is correct? But Entangledbank thinks it's wrong.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Not sentence 4 either. It still isn't an 'also' sentence. You haven't got (1) John went, and also (2) everyone else went. So the people who went aren't (1) John and (2) some other people besides John.
     

    skydown13

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thanks for the input. This is exactly why I had gone through so many threads before I posted this. People use this word differently.:(
     
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