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Uses of ‘as well as’

Many writers love using ‘as well as’ but don’t always use it correctly or overuse it. It is an emphatic technique, so avoid overuse. The problems arise when you have conjugated verbs, or different structures. It is most commonly used with nouns and gerunds.

Linguee is a useful source to examine its use.

The best use of ‘as well as’ is when you wish to emphasize the different nature of one element in a list, usually of less importance. The ones preceding ‘as well as’ are the key ones. In contrast, using ‘and’ indicates all elements in the list are of equal importance.

Correct usage from the WHO news-room website:

  1. A healthy diet helps to protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
  2. Although some of the variations in older people’s health are genetic, most is due to people’s physical and social environments – including their homes, neighbourhoods, and communities, as well as their personal characteristics. 

From students’ writing:

  • I took over the role of coordinator, supporting the Field Epidemiology Training (FET) and surveillance-related works, as well as supervising junior team members.
  • The prime responsibility of the group is to endorse gender mainstream activities, as well as to work on further phases of the initiative.

Carol Waites (PhD)

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