I came across someone practicing English saying something similar to

[This poem] has been translated into several languages by my friends. Besides, many artists held an exhibition for my poems and their artworks.

I'm worried that "Besides" is slightly derogatory of the previous sentence, and you wouldn't want that in this context.

Wiktionary doesn't directly support my concerns. Perhaps I am thinking of "aside from" - The answer from 'Aside from' vs 'Besides' says:

besides: additionally

aside [from]: excluding

Does "besides" have a nuance of "even ignoring the former item"?

  • 2
    I agree with Liam W that it's perfectly fine. I think you’re probably remembering besides employed conversationally to append an unconvincing afterthought: "No, we can't afford to buy you the CGEL. Besides, when would you have time to read it?" But if it really bothers you, you can use Moreover or On top of that instead. – StoneyB Jan 27 '13 at 12:39
  • The most important thing about such usage of besides isn't that it's "slightly dismissive of whatever was previously mentioned". Which is only sometimes the case, and even then dismissive/derogatory aren't really the right concepts - it's more that the additional thing about to be mentioned is often be intended to be a "final, killer argument" if the other party isn't yet convinced. But the thing is this form is highly informal (although slightly less so when followed by "which"). It's okay in casual speech and writing, but not in more general/formal contexts. – FumbleFingers Jan 27 '13 at 18:10
  • @FumbleFingers is "In addition" ok instead? – Andrew Grimm Jan 27 '13 at 22:15
  • 1
    @Andrew: Yes, I would say that in most contexts, In addition [to which] is less informal than Besides [which]. Even better for formal contexts would be Additionally. – FumbleFingers Jan 27 '13 at 22:19

The word "Besides" in the sentence given is perfectly fine, and is in no way derogatory (although it may be interpreted that way by some - everyone is different).

Does "besides" have a nuance of "even ignoring the former item"?

I would say yes, this would make sense. The way most people use it follows this meaning, so yes.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.