“…as well as” and “and”: One is not like the other

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How to use the phrase “as well as” can be confusing to many writers. If you don’t want to reword your sentence, here is the basic prescription for how to use the phrase.

Treat a pair of singular nouns, joined by “as well as” as one thing (singular). When a singular verb is meant (i.e., sounds better), use commas to set off the phrase “as well as.”

Example: An MBA degree, as well as professional experience, is the best qualification for administrators.

***

When the plural verb is meant (i.e., sounds better), do not set off “as well as.”

Example: Professional experience as well as an MBA are the best qualifications for administrators.

***

“as well as” serves a different purpose than “and” in a sentence.

The conjunction “and” is used when listing items that have something in common.

Example: The farmer raised chickens, cows, and pigs on his land.

***

“as well as” is used to differentiate or emphasize one or more items on a list from a group of others.

Example: The farmer raised chickens, cows, and pigs, as well as soybeans on his land.

About The dutty is "the ground," the foundation, the earth--just like words are part of the foundation on which I build my life.

Reason for being: To tell stories and help writers and others with a message to put their best word forward.
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