Confusable Words: Beside vs. Besides, Quite vs. Quiet

The English language can present a bit of confusion to people when speaking or writing. Even native English speakers confuse words such as beside vs besides and quite vs. quiet. When looking at quite vs. quiet, it’s generally a spelling error. Beside vs besides can be a spelling error or simply a misspoken term.

Beside means next to as in “The box sits beside the desk.” Besides means otherwise or however such as “Besides, she is too tall for that dress.” When quite and quiet are confused, it is generally due to a spelling error rather than a grammatical error. Sometimes even spell check will get confused between the two words and put the wrong one in a phrase. An example of quite would be “He is quite good at his job.’ An example of the proper use of quiet would be “It sure is quiet in the house with the children outside.”

The differences are obvious when one takes the time to research the meanings. Although the words are often misspelled, the writer generally means something different. A person may write “It is quite in the house with the children playing outside” when they actually mean “It is quiet in the house with the children playing outside.” Quite and quiet are often confused in writing but not in speaking whereas beside and besides are often confused in both writing and speaking.