Aside vs. Beside: What's the Difference?
“Aside” refers to a remark not directly related to the main topic, while “Beside” is a preposition meaning next to or compared to.
“Aside” and “Beside” are English words with distinct meanings and uses, the former usually pertaining to remarks or comments, and the latter relating to position or comparison. “Aside” is often used to introduce a statement that deviates from the central theme or conversation, offering additional context, clarification, or an unrelated observation. “Beside,” conversely, is a preposition indicating the position of one object relative to another, meaning next to, or it can also be used to compare two entities.
In literature and drama, “Aside” is used to convey characters’ thoughts spoken out loud, but intended only for the audience or themselves, not the other characters, while “Beside” will indicate the spatial relationship between two entities or characters within the narrative. An author may use “Aside” to reveal a character’s inner feelings or undisclosed intentions, enriching the narrative with layers of meaning. “Beside” in narrative can be used to describe a physical proximity or positioning of characters or objects within the scene, adding vividness and spatial awareness to the depiction.
In everyday language usage, “Aside” often refers to putting something to one side, either physically or metaphorically, like setting a topic or an object apart for later consideration. “Beside,” on the other hand, is commonly used to describe the relative location of objects or people, emphasizing their proximity to each other, or sometimes illustrating contrast or comparison between them, especially in the phrase “beside oneself” and when comparing one's abilities or qualities with others.
The proper application of “Aside” and “Beside” is vital for clear and precise communication. “Aside” is more nuanced and is primarily used to refer to additional information or comments, while “Beside” serves a fundamental grammatical function, expressing spatial relation or comparison. When using “Aside,” one needs to ensure the context supports a deviation or additional remark, and when using “Beside,” the sentence should involve spatial relation or comparison between entities.
Part of Speech
Typically used as a noun or adverb.
Predominantly used as a preposition.
Conveys a deviation or addition to the main topic or conversation.
Indicates spatial relation, proximity, or comparison.
Function in Drama
Represents characters' thoughts intended for the audience or themselves.
Describes the spatial relationship between characters or objects.
Refers to putting something to one side or making a secondary remark.
Describes the relative location of objects or people.
Not used for comparisons.
Frequently used to compare one entity to another.
Aside and Beside Definitions
A remark or comment made in addition to the main conversation.
He made a humorous aside about the situation.
Beside his skills, mine are negligible.
In drama, a statement spoken by a character for the audience’s benefit, not heard by other characters.
In the play, the protagonist utters an aside, revealing his true intentions.
At the side of; next to.
Setting something apart for later consideration.
Let's put that idea aside for now and focus on the immediate issue.
In comparison with
A proposal that seems quite reasonable beside the others.
A secondary or additional remark.
He whispered an aside to me during the meeting.
On an equal footing with
Has earned a place beside the best performers in the business.
To or toward the side
In addition to
"Many creatures beside man live in communities" (Stuart Chase). See Usage Note at besides.
Out of one's thoughts or mind
Put my doubts aside.
Except for. See Usage Note at besides.
A day set aside for relaxing.
Not relevant to
A remark that was beside the point.
In reserve; away
Put a little money aside.
Being excepted or excluded from consideration
All joking aside, can you swim two miles?.
A piece of dialogue intended for the audience and supposedly not heard by the other actors on stage.
Next to; at the side of.
A small table beside the bed
A remark made in an undertone so as to be inaudible to others nearby.
Not relevant to.
That is beside the point
A parenthetical departure; a digression.
Besides; in addition.
To or on one side so as to be out of the way.
Move aside, please, so that these people can come through.
Otherwise; else; besides.
Not in perfect symmetry; distorted laterally, especially of the human body.
At the side of; on one side of.
An incidental remark to a person next to one made discreetly but not in private, audible only to that person.theatre (theatre) A brief comment by a character addressing the audience, unheard by other characters.
Aside from; out of the regular course or order of; in a state of deviation from; out of.
[You] have done enoughTo put him quite beside his patience.
A minor related mention, an afterthought.
Over and above; distinct from; in addition to.
Wise and learned men beside those whose names are in the Christian records.
Paul, thou art beside thyself.
Lovely Thais sits beside thee.
Only be patient till we have appeasedThe multitude, beside themselves with fear.
It is beside my present business to enlarge on this speculation.
Besides this, there are persons in certain situations who are expected to be charitable.
And, besides, the MoorMay unfold me to him; there stand I in much peril.
That man that does not know those things which are of necessity for him to know is but an ignorant man, whatever he may know besides.
On, or to, one side; out of a straight line, course, or direction; at a little distance from the rest; out of the way; apart.
Thou shalt set aside that which is full.
But soft! but soft! aside: here comes the king.
The flames were blown aside.
In addition to; apart from.
What other services do you offer beside tax preparation?
Out of one's thoughts; off; away; as, to put aside gloomy thoughts.
Not affecting or relevant to.
That point is beside the question.
So as to be heard by others; privately.
Then lords and ladies spake aside.
Out of one's thoughts or mind.
He was beside himself with worry.
Something spoken aside; as, a remark made by a stageplayer which the other players are not supposed to hear.
A line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage
A message that departs from the main subject
On or to one side;
Stood aside to let him pass
Threw the book aside
Put her sewing aside when he entered
Out of the way (especially away from one's thoughts);
Brush the objections aside
Pushed all doubts away
Not taken into account or excluded from consideration;
These problems apart, the country is doing well
All joking aside, I think you're crazy
In a different direction;
Turn away one's face
Placed or kept separate and distinct as for a purpose;
Had a feeling of being set apart
Quality sets it apart
A day set aside for relaxing
In reserve; not for immediate use;
Started setting aside money to buy a car
Put something by for her old age
Has a nestegg tucked away for a rainy day
A deviation from the main topic or conversation.
She mentioned, as an aside, that they were thinking of changing the venue.
Can “Aside” introduce additional remarks?
Yes, “Aside” can introduce remarks or comments that are additional or secondary to the main conversation.
Is “Beside” a preposition?
Yes, “Beside” is predominantly used as a preposition.
Does “Beside” indicate spatial relation or comparison?
Yes, “Beside” indicates spatial relation, proximity, or comparison between entities.
Can “Beside” be used to describe the position of one object relative to another?
Absolutely, “Beside” is used to describe the spatial relationship or positioning of objects or characters relative to one another.
Does “Beside” involve comparison of abilities or qualities?
Yes, “Beside” can be used to compare one's abilities or qualities with those of another.
Can “Aside” convey deviations from the main topic?
Yes, “Aside” effectively conveys deviations or additions to the main topic or conversation.
Can “Aside” enrich a narrative with layers of meaning in literature?
Absolutely, “Aside” can reveal a character’s inner feelings or undisclosed intentions, adding layers to the narrative.
Is “Aside” usually a noun or adverb?
Yes, “Aside” is typically used as a noun or adverb.
Is “Aside” used in drama to reveal characters' thoughts?
Yes, “Aside” in drama is used to represent characters’ thoughts that are intended for the audience or themselves.
Is “Beside” fundamental in expressing spatial relation?
Yes, “Beside” serves a fundamental grammatical function in expressing spatial relation or comparison.
Does “Aside” refer to setting something to one side in everyday language?
Yes, “Aside” in everyday language often refers to setting something apart for later consideration.
Is “Beside” common in everyday language to describe location or proximity?
Yes, “Beside” is commonly used in everyday language to describe the relative location or proximity of objects or people.
Is “Beside” effective in creating vivid spatial awareness in a narrative?
Yes, “Beside” adds vividness and spatial awareness by indicating the relative position of characters or objects within a scene.
Are “Aside” and “Beside” essential for clear and precise communication?
Absolutely, using “Aside” and “Beside” properly is vital for conveying precise and clear information.
Is the use of “Aside” more nuanced?
Yes, the use of “Aside” is more nuanced, mainly reflecting additional remarks or deviations from the main discussion.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.