Hello! This week on Ask a Teacher, we will answer a question about “as well as.”
Hi VOA Learning English,
My name is Neethu, and I am from India. I have been learning English using your programs for several years. My question is: What is the correct meaning of “as well as” and please explain the usage in sentences.
This is an interesting question, Neethu!
That little group of words operates in an unusual way sometimes.
As an adverb, “as well” means “also,” “in addition” or “too.” We often place “as well” at the end of our sentences.
Thank you for meeting me today and for helping me with my errands as well.
We can also add “as” to form the phrase “as well as.” This means “in addition to” and normally serves as a conjunction.
She studied business in college as well as art history.
“And” combines two nouns, expressions, or sentences, usually of the same importance. However, a speaker using the phrase might be bringing additional attention to the noun that comes before “as well as.”
On their trip to Europe, they went to Prague as well as smaller cities in Czechia.
Be careful when using “as well as” with the subject of a sentence. In this case, the phrase does not act like a normal conjunction. When we use “as well as” to form the subject of a sentence, English usage calls for us to pay attention to subject-verb agreement.
Normally, if a subject is singular, we use a singular verb. If the subject is plural, then we use the plural form of the verb. But, in many cases, having “as well as” after the subject does not make the subject plural.
My cat, as well as my dogs, plays outside in the yard every day.
If you want to include the noun “my dogs” in the subject, use “and.” Then the subject will be plural.
My cat and my dogs play outside in the yard every day.
The reason English speakers do this is complex and requires more explanation than we can provide here. Just remember that the “as well as…” phrase is not included in the subject. Use the normal subject-verb agreement rules for the subject of the sentence.
Please let us know if these explanations and examples have helped you, Neethu!
What question do you have about American English? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
And that’s Ask a Teacher.
I’m Faith Pirlo.
Faith Pirlo wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
errands – n. a short journey that you take to do or get something
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