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I am confused with the usage of besides and except for.
Besides = 'in addition to' or 'plus'
1) Besides "a," "e," "i," "o," and "u," the English alphabet often uses "y" as a vowel, as in "early" and "myself."
2) Malta has several industries besides tourism — fishing, financial services and manufacturing for example.
3) Candidates need to demonstrate other qualities besides intelligence; they need to be compassionate and restrained, too.
Except = 'with exclusion', 'everything other than' or 'minus':
1) Brazil borders on every country in South America except Chile and Ecuador.
2) The shops in the city centre are open every day except on public holidays.
3) A year — except those divisible by 4, such as 1996 and 2000 — has 365 days.
If you study Alison's examples, you will see that the phrase "except for" was replaced with
Let me show you a use of the phrase "Except for"
"I read every part of the newspaper, except for the Sports Pages, which were boring."
"Except for Don Juan, everybody voted in favor of adopting the new policy on Air Pollution."
"Everybody was happy, it seemed, except for me.
Let's look at "Besides". You have chosen a less common word, that actually is not synonymous with "Except for" so that we really should not be comparing them as equal in meaning.
In fact, I do not use the word "Besides" very often. I do start paragraphs with another word
"Beyond" used in convenient Phrase, as follows:
"Beyond even that, four critical distinctions need to be made, as follows:
(a) There are Agnostics
(b) There are Atheists
(c) There are Theists
(d) There are Deists"
"Beyond even the difficulties in Economics, Poverty, Crime and War, our greatest difficulty
is with ordinary human ignorance."
So you could use a phrase such as; "Besides which,....etc."
"Besides" is a word I heard other children use, such as;
"No! You cannot see my new toy! Besides, I don't like you!"