Difference Between Except and Besides

Every language has a different set of rules to speak and write, English is one of the tricky languages. Sometimes even native speakers also make grammatical errors while speaking and writing.

For any language, grammar is base to write and speak, the rules and systems we follow to write and speak are called as Grammar. The English grammar is also one of that which contains its rules and systems to write and speak English.

The grammar is like traffic rules used on time to complete meaningful sentences, and grammar strengthens the languages as well. Parts of speech is one part of the English grammar. Which explains the rules of the word how and when to use.

A preposition expresses the relationship between the noun and the pronoun, the preposition words indicate the position, location, duration, and reason so on. ‘Except’ and ‘besides’ are words like that.

Except vs Besides

The main difference between Except and Besides is that the main function of these words in the sentences. ‘Except’ is utilized for excluding an entity or a situation while ‘Besides’ is utilized for including an entity or a situation in the sentence.

Except VS Besides

Connecting the two parts of the sentence, words and clauses are called a conjunction. ‘Except’ is also a conjunction.

‘Except’ is a Preposition that follows the noun, and also a Conjunction that follows a Clause or an adverb phrase. Except is used to exclude something from the sentence.

Besides is a preposition, which is used to include something in the sentences. Except and Besides may sound similar by meaning but one is used to exclude and another is used include something in the sentence as well as in the context.


Comparison Table Between Except and Besides (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonExceptBesides
FunctionIt excludes an entity or a situation or an individual from the sentence.
For E.g.
1. All came to the party except James.
2. I teach mathematics except for calculus.
It includes an entity or a situation or an individual from the sentence
For E.g.
1. Besides James, all came to the party.
2. I teach mathematics besides English.
Meaning‘Except’ means, apart from‘Besides’ mean, in addition to.
Statement TypeRejection Statement. ‘Except’ while used gives a recommended rejection.Addition Statement. ‘Besides’ while used gives a recommended addition.
Part of the sentenceIn a sentence, except can feature in the start or also in the middle.Besides shall feature in all parts of the sentence.
Statement Intensity‘Except’ Reduces intensity while used in the negative sentences.
For E.g.
1. He had a very bad day except that he met his girlfriend.
‘Besides’ Improves or Increases intensity while used in the negative sentences.
For E.g.
1. He had a very bad day besides he met his ex-girlfriend on the way home.
Tense FormsWhen used in other tense forms, the form and spelling of the word changes as per the tense. For E.g.
1. Excepted
2. Excepting
3. Excepts
It does not change its spelling or form while used in any tense form.


When to Use Except?

Except is Preposition followed by a noun and pronoun and also conjunction followed by Clauses and adverb Phrases. It is used to express people, things, location, duration, and reasons.

Expect is used to explain a certain ‘thing’, ‘person’, and ‘others’ by excluding it from the sentence. The word can be used in the beginning and middle followed by the noun and pronoun. It can be used in all forms of tenses.

To subtract something from the discussion we use Except. ‘Minus’ and ‘Without’ gives a similar meaning of Except. If we are using Except, then we are excluding something from the discussion.

For E.g.

  1. I like to do all the house chores except washing cloths.
  2. The coffee shop will be open daily except for Sundays

‘Except’ or ‘Except for’ is used in general statements like all, everyone, nobody, every, no, and whole after generalizing words. Both forms of use are correct.

For E.g.

  1. I like all fruits except for Kiwi
  2. I like all fruits except kiwi
  3. I like fruits except for the kiwi

Except is also used to introduce someone in the sentence by excluding them.

For E.g.

  1. Everyone was dancing well except for Shinny
  2. All the students were in uniform except John

Except can be used as Except, Except for, except (that), Except (when/where/if). We don’t normally use as ‘except of’ or ‘except it’.

Except also can be formed as Excepts, Excepting, and Excepted as per tense forms.


When to Use Besides?

Besides is a preposition and linking adverb, which means in addition to or also or as well. If Besides used as linking adverb then while writing we put a comma before and after besides.

Besides is something additional to a sentence what has been already stated. Besides suggesting that addition of nature, an afterthought.

For E.g.

  1. Do you play any other sports besides Cricket?
  2. What other forms of dance do you like besides salsa?

Beside and Besides seems similar but meaning and using forms are different. Beside is a word with no S, is used only as a preposition, which means followed by a noun. Which means next to or compared to.

She was sitting beside him during a meeting.

Besides is a word that ends with the letter S, used as a preposition and linking adverb. Which means an addition to the sentence with already stated nature.

For E.g.

  1. She wants to travel to other places besides Paris.
  2. She wants to eat all flavours of Ice Creams besides the black current

Besides can also be used ‘of’ someone and something which is already stated.

For E.g.

  1. He likes to play all the games besides soccer
  2. I like to eat all food besides chicken

Besides is used to add reason to support what has been already saying.

For E.g.

  1. It is too late to go home besides you know how Mom scolds
  2. Sheena is too sensitive besides she hates the rainy season

Main Differences Between Except and Besides

  1. The main difference between Except and Besides is the actual nature of the word. ‘Except’ excludes someone or something while ‘Besides’ includes someone or something.
  2. ‘Except’ statements strongly reject an entity from the situation. Whereas ‘Besides’ statements strongly add an entity in the situation.
  3. ‘Except’ can be used in the beginning as well as in the middle of any sentence. While, ‘Besides’ can be used in all three parts of the sentence, as such using it in the last, it takes the meaning ‘anyway’.
  4. ‘Except’ while using in negative instances may help reduce the intensity of the pain from the context. Whereas, ‘Besides’ while using in negative instances adds up to the negativity to make the situation worse.
  5. ‘Except’ can also be used in the Past tense and it changes to ‘Excepted’, it can be used in other tense forms too. Whereas Besides can be used in any tense form however, it does not change its word form or spelling. It remains the same.



To strengthen our language and to speak and write meaningful sentences Grammar is very important. Vocabulary makes the language more stylish and technique oriented. Except and Besides are the words like that which make sentences sound more prolific in a convenient way when used in the right contexts.

It is common for people to make mistakes in the usage of except and besides, as both have different meanings but sound similar. Learning and understanding vocabulary and grammar is very important and useful to our personal as well as professional life. Understanding the differences between these commonly mistook words makes the language sound flamboyant.


  1. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/except
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/besides
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