How to Use “As Well As” Correctly
  • 3-minute read
  • 3rd January 2023

How to Use “As Well As” Correctly

You’ve probably seen “as well as” used interchangeably with “and,” but they don’t always have the same meaning. Learning the differences will help you to strengthen your writing by clarifying your intended tone and meaning.

“As well as” can serve as a conjunction or a preposition. This post will explain how to use this phrase correctly in your writing.

As a Conjunction

The main purpose of a conjunction is to connect words, phrases, or clauses in a sentence. The most common conjunctions (e.g., “and,” “but,” and “or”) are used in almost every sentence that we write or say. When using “as well as” in a sentence as a conjunction, it simply means “and in addition.” For example:

I like to eat pizza as well as salad.

Using “and” instead of “as well as” in the above example would make sense, but it wouldn’t convey the true meaning of what you’re really saying. “And” combines two equal ideas, while “as well as” places emphasis on the first idea.

In the above example, if the writer likes pizza and salads equally, then “and” would be appropriate. But if they like pizza more than salad, then “as well as” would make more sense.

Here’s another example:

Janie likes red as well as blue.

If Janie’s favorite color is red, but she kind of likes blue, then “as well as” is the best choice. Replacing it with “and” wouldn’t distinguish the first color over the second.

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As a Prepositional Phrase

When “as well as” functions as a prepositional phrase, it means “in addition to” or “besides.” There are countless examples of prepositions (e.g., “in,” “at,” “on,” and “over”), and they indicate location, place, time, and direction.

When “as well as” serves as a prepositional phrase, it modifies the subject or verb, often by providing additional information. For example:

Adam is going on vacation next week, as well as Theo and Allyssa.

The emphasis in the above example is on the first subject, Adam. “As well as” gives us additional information (i.e., Theo and Allysa are also going on vacation), and it works better here than “and.” The writer of the sentence is letting us know that Adam going on vacation is the more significant detail than Theo and Alyssa going on vacation.

Pro Tip:

“As well as” doesn’t change a singular subject into a plural. The verb must agree with the noun that comes before “as well as.” For instance:

Jessica, as well as Nikki, is a senior this year.
Jessica, as well as Nikki, are seniors this year.

Need More Help?

Using “as well as” the right way helps to clear up any ambiguity and place emphasis correctly. Getting these little details correct can mean the difference between good writing and great writing.

Need help with the details? Our world-class proofreaders and editors will rise to the challenge. Submit a free trial document today to learn more.

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