This Week’s Grammar Mailbox Question:

And — As well as — As well


And” joins two or more ideas in a parallel structure. The two (or more) elements being connected by “and” are regarded equally.

If being used in the subject, a compound subject will be created and any verbs used with them should be plural.

E.g. The coach and the team are all ready for the game.


 “As well as” means “in addition to”. In the construction of “X as well as Y”, X is the main focus and Y is an additional piece of information (namely an additive phrase). The additive phrase is of secondary importance.

If being used in a subject, it does not create a compound subject like the use of “and”. The verb should agree with the first subject only.

E.g. The students, as well as the teacher, were all exhausted.

E.g. The teacher, as well as the students, was all exhausted.

If being used to connect two verbs/ two actions, the verb that follows “as well as” should be in gerund (v+ing).

E.g. Developing a healthy financial portfolio helps diversify risks, as well as securing your future after retirement.


As well” is an adverb, meaning “also”, “too”, or “in addition”. It is usually found at the end of a clause.

E.g. The students are all looking forward to the study tour in London and spending quality time with their teachers as well.



  1. Maya ___________________ her friends is studying for the test.
  2. He is both very rich ___________________ handsome.
  3. Joyce, Pynchon, ___________________ Vonnegut are important novelists of the 20th century.
  4. Please can I bring John to the party___________________?


Answers to last week’s challenge:

1. There is no convincing evidence for this convoluted advice, disinterested researchers say. (New York Times)

2. The coach had put some thoughts on paper and gave his friend the name of a possible publisher who turned out to be uninterested. (New York Times)

3. Disinterested service is a virtue ordinary human intelligence cannot grasp. (F.E. Mills)

4. “He was dedicated to the automobile,” Mr. Joyce said, and uninterested in mass transit. (New York Times)

5. Criticism, in this light, is neither a mode of revelation nor of disinterested judgment. (The Brooklyn Rail)

6. Unfortunately for City Hall’s exterminators, they also seemed totally uninterested in recently laid traps baited with poison. (New Zealand Herald)

7. The directors who consider the bid must be disinterested and not receive a benefit from the transaction, and they must be governed by an overarching duty of care owed to the association. (The Los Angeles Times)

8. But we’re comparatively uninterested in buying health and beauty products online, despite spending 18 percent more this November. (Chicago Tribune)