Difference between By and Beside

Difference between By and Beside

The use of words can be quite confusing, especially if you do not know a lot about grammar. Grammar helps to present words better and use them properly. It is an important aspect of improving your communication skills. It is composed of different methodologies, frameworks, and constructs of the language. Sentences make better sense when they are grammatically correct. By and besides are two words that people often get confused using in their sentences.

By Vs. Beside

The main difference between by and besides is that by is often used as either a noun, an adverb, or a preposition, while beside is used as an adverb and a preposition. By is mostly used to describe something near or to describe time. On the other side, beside is used in the sense of a thing being next to something else. By is more often used in daily conversations versus beside.

Although they are both used as a preposition, by is a more informal way of saying things, while beside is a more formal term used in conversations. In terms of specifications, beside is more specific while by tends to be on the vague side.

When to use By?

By is a word that can be used to specify many things such as a person, a place, or a time. It can be used as an interjection, an adverb, a noun, and an adjective. The word by can also refer to someone performing an action. There are some general rules that you should know when you want to use the word.

  • It is used in a phrase or a passive sentence that indicates that a person has done an action (Example: The expensive car at the parking lot of my condo was accidentally hit by another car)
  • It can be sued to describe a specific way of doing an action (Example: By clicking the link, you can easily get a discount)
  • It can be used to tell someone when something is happening (Example: The mass should start by 7 PM)
  • It can be used to talk about authors of poems, books, and more (Example: That book was written by Lang Leav)
  • It can be used to talk about numbers or measures (Example: The market price of pork has gone down by 5%)
  • It can be used to talk about someone traveling somewhere (Example: He has traveled 3km just to meet his boyfriend)
  • It can be used with adjectives (Example: I was impressed by Nanon’s acting skills in the Bad Buddy series)
  • It can be used to talk about a person doing something by himself (Example: I went to the cafeteria by myself to eat lunch)

When to use Beside?

The word beside is used as two things: an adverb and a preposition. It can only be used to denote a location or a place. It refers to a person or a thing being next to another person or thing. Below are some general rules to know about when you should use the word beside.

  • Can be used as a phrase (example: What you said was beside the point of the matter)
  • Can be used to show excitement (Example: Ohm was beside himself with excitement)
  • Can be used to mean next to or at the side of (Example: Pat kept his doll beside him when he sleeps)
  • Can be used when denoting something that is near (Example: When Pat and Pran went home together, they walk beside each other)
  • Can be used to express comparison (Example: Pran earned his place next to Pat at that music festival)
  • It can be used to show location (Example: Earth always sleeps beside Mix.)
  • It can be used to describe something next to a particular someone (Example: Whenever they are together, Mix always sits down beside Earth)

Difference between By and Beside

  • The main difference between by and beside would be how they are used. While by can refer to a time, an individual, or a place, beside can only be used to denote location. This is shown in the following examples. Nanon tells Ohm to be at his house by 9 PM. Pat can never fall asleep without his doll beside him at night.
  • By is used as an interjection, an adverb, a preposition, a noun, or an adjective. Meanwhile, beside is only used as an adverb or a preposition.
  • By is normally used in daily conversations while beside is not. This is because by is considered a more informal term while beside is considered to be a more formal term.
  • The word by, when used as a preposition, indicates next to a specific action. While beside as a preposition refers to something being adjacent to another thing.
  • The word by is vaguer while beside is more specific.


While by and beside are both prepositions, they differ in terms of their use. This is where grammar is proven to be very helpful. This is because it helps in providing the right structure to phrases and sentences so that the thought that comes with them becomes more understandable.

Leave a Comment