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    #1

    BESIDES

    Here's another doubt originating from the somewhat 'liberal' use that some native speakers of English make of their own language.
    Any grammar book will say that the preposition BESIDES must be followed by the -ing form..... And sure enough, I have found besides followed by the infinitive...... The following are a few examples taken from a random Google search

    1) What else can I do with a teaching degree besides teach?
    2) What else did you do besides read books?
    3) What else could you do besides watch TV?

    Much to my relief, I've found just as many with the -ing form. Could I therefore try and 'expound my own theory' as a non-native speaker?
    They are both acceptable in common parlance today, the -ing form being technically better and to be preferred in academic writing (?)

    Thanks
    Last edited by wace; 10-Aug-2013 at 15:30.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: BESIDES

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Here's another doubt originating from the somewhat 'liberal' use that some native speakers of English make of their own language.
    Any grammar book will say that the preposition BESIDES must be followed by the -ing form..... And sure enough, I have found besides followed by the infinitive...... The following are a few examples taken from a random Google search

    1) What else can I do with a teaching degree besides teach?
    2) What else did you do besides read books?
    3) What else could you do besides watch TV?

    Much to my relief, I've found just as many with the -ing form. Could I therefore try and 'expound my own theory' as a non-native speaker?
    They are both acceptable in common parlance today, the -ing form being technically better and to be preferred in academic writing (?)

    Thanks
    Your theory is incorrect, all of your three examples are perfectly acceptable.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: BESIDES

    "Any grammar book will say that the preposition BESIDES must be followed by the -ing form...."

    Are you sure? That's a bold claim. How many did you check?
    I'd say say that "besides" is followed by the gerund form at the beginning of a sentence.

    1)
    Besides teaching, what else can I do with a teaching degree?
    2) Besides reading books, what else did you do ?

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    #4

    Re: BESIDES

    Thank you Raymott. In your first reply, though, - I realize you deal with dozens and dozens of questions every day and cannot possibly enter into details - you forgot to specify whether, besides being perfectly acceptable, the three examples above are exact alternatives to the -ing form at the end of a sentence:
    1) what else did you do besides READ/READING?
    You may have taken that for granted, but it's always best to clarify. I hate to be a nit-picker but as a teacher - my students are bottomless pits of questions about English - I like to be able to offer any alternatives to a structure being analysed.
    As for the number of grammar books I have checked so far, oh.. quite a few, Raymott, but none of them provide one single example containing the infinitive after besides at the end of a sentence. It may have been a 'bold claim' but I hardly ever ask a question without first reading up on the subject in such authoritative reference books as ADVANCED GRAMMAR IN USE (Martin Hewings - Cambridge); A PRACTICAL ENGLISH GRAMMAR (Thomson, Martinet)- Oxford U.P.; ENGLISH GRAMMAR IN USE (R. Murphy- Cambridge).. to name but a few.

    Last edited by wace; 11-Aug-2013 at 08:29.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: BESIDES

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Thank you Raymott. In your first reply, though, - I realize you deal with dozens and dozens of questions every day and cannot possibly enter into details - you forgot to specify whether, besides being perfectly acceptable, the three examples above are exact alternatives to the -ing form at the end of a sentence:
    On the contrary, I forgot nothing. Are you making my job description even more onerous by mandating that I deal in full with all possible aspects of the question? I decided to add one interesting observation, and that's what I did. Also, remember that I followed on from bhaisahab, and did not repeat his point. So, without me even contributing, it seems that we have the grammar books saying the gerund is correct, and bhai saying your sentences are correct.

    You may have taken that for granted, but it's always best to clarify. I hate to be a nit-picker but as a teacher - my students are bottomless pits of questions about English - I like to be able to offer any alternatives to a structure being analysed.

    1) what else did you do besides READ/READING?
    Thanks for your patience
    I have plenty of patience. Should I infer that you are asking me whether your sentence 1) here means the same with either ending? I think that that has already been decided by "all grammar books" and bhaisahab. My specific contribution dealt with a sentence beginning with "Besides". I have only to add that I don't consider "Besides read books, what else did you do?" wrong. But I prefer "reading".
    No, there's no difference in meaning, though there might be regional preferences for one form or the other.

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    #6

    Re: BESIDES

    Oops, I must have missed bhaisahab's post.... Sorry about that!!

    No, Raymott, I'm not asking you to 'deal in full with all possible aspects of a question'. You would have to be paid for that, hahahahha.
    I was simply suggesting that perhaps a green tick following the option offered is enough to help me understand if a sentence is ok. No other explanation would then be necessary. (By the way, my question was only about the use of besides AT THE END of a sentence: 'What else did you do besides TEACH (correct) / TEACHING (correct) ?' It seems that both are correct, ...end of story).

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: BESIDES

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    (By the way, my question was only about the use of besides AT THE END of a sentence: 'What else did you do besides TEACH (correct) / TEACHING (correct) ?' It seems that both are correct, ...end of story).
    Sorry, I could have sworn it was about whether to use the gerund or the infinitive after "besides". I answered on that basis.
    Never mind though. There's no extra charge.

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    #8

    Re: BESIDES

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Sorry, I could have sworn it was about whether to use the gerund or the infinitive after "besides". I answered on that basis.
    In a sssssslightly convoluted way, you certainly did, Raymott. ... hahah Just kidding.
    As I wrote in my previous post, all you had to do was add a tick to both options (in my first post) to mark they were both correct. That would have saved you the bother of answering endless threads. Thanks again for your (and bhaisahab's) patience and.. understanding..

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: BESIDES

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    In a sssssslightly convoluted way, you certainly did. Raymott. hahah Just kidding.
    As I wrote in my previous post, all you had to do was add a tick to both options (in my first post) to mark they were both correct. That would have saved you the bother of answering endless threads. Thanks again for your (and bhaisahab's) patience and.. understanding..
    In my opinion, just putting a tick or a cross next to sentences is not really a sign of a teacher doing a good job. Sometimes, it's all that's required but here, we tend to elaborate. A tick might be enough for you but other learners read these threads and it's good if we can help them understand the answers and the reasons for those answers.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: BESIDES

    UsingEnglish.com has a page dedicated to the preposition/adverb use of "besides" at Beside & besides - Articles - UsingEnglish.com. I have several authoritative grammar texts which do not state that besides must be followed by an -ing. I don't see anything convoluted about Raymott's posts.

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