Posted by: Jack Henry | March 9, 2023

Editor’s Corner: As Well As

Good morning to you! It’s early here in San Diego, and I haven’t had my tea yet, but it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day. if you’re ready, let’s jump right in.

We all want to sound like we know what we’re talking about. We want to sound authoritative—especially in professional environments. However, too often when writing, people believe that more words or bigger words will make them sound smarter, and they use these words and phrases at the risk of making their writing less clear.

One example of this is the simple phrase as well as. Many people use as well as and and interchangeably. However, they are not synonymous. I’ll give you an example of incorrect usage and some further explanation. This comes from the English Language Help Desk website:

Incorrect Example: Swedish is spoken in Sweden, as well as in parts of Finland.

Why is this incorrect? Because although you may not have learned this in school (I certainly didn’t!), the phrase as well as, places more emphasis on the phrase that comes before as well as. The phase used in the example actually means that Swedish is spoken not only in parts of Finland, but also in Sweden. (What a surprise!) To use as well as correctly in that sentence, it should read “Swedish is spoken in parts of Finland as well as in Sweden.”

On the other hand, the word and suggests that all words and phrases in a sentence are of equal importance. For example, “I love traveling and hiking.” I love them both equally.

And one last thing, when you do use as well as in a sentence, remember that the verb must agree with the noun proceeding it.

Correct example: Tea as well as coffee is popular in the UK.

Enjoy the rest of your day. 😊

Donna Bradley Burcher |Technical Editor, Advisory | jack henry™

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123

Pronouns she/her/hers

Symitar Documentation Services

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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