Besides, as a preposition, means except and in addition to. What does the sentence Besides Jack, no one voted for her. mean?

A: Except Jack, no no one voted for her = Only Jack voted for her!


B: Jack did not vote for her, and no one else voted for her either.

I think the answer is A. Can we say when "besides" comes with negative structures, it must be understood as "except"? Or, Is the sample sentence ambiguous and can mean both?

  • 2
    Since you've already learned that besides can mean in addition to, you should just "leverage" that understanding for your present context here. You shouldn't then have any problem seeing that No-one in addition to Jack [did something] is just one of many ways of saying that Jack was the only one who did it. It's usually better to work outwards from something you already know (extending your existing knowledge rather than thinking in terms of learning something entirely new). Jul 24, 2018 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


In the context of this sentence, it is perhaps better to say that it means:

Other than Jack, no-one else voted for her.

So your first sentence is correct; only Jack voted for her.

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