Comma Before “As Well As” – Rules & Examples

23.09.23 Commas Time to read: 5min

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Students frequently struggle with using commas correctly in academic writing, especially when it comes to the phrase “as well as”. This confusion arises because the rules and exceptions governing comma usage are not always clear. To help clarify these rules and exceptions, this article provides examples and explanations specifically related to using commas before “as well as”.

When to place a comma before “as well as”

Generally, a comma before “as well as” is only placed if it is an interjection. No comma is being used before “as well as” if the phrase is used as “in addition to” or to make simple comparisons.

Comma

Interjection

No comma

Used as “in addition to”

Making simple comparisons

Comma rules can vary depending on style guides, and complex sentences may have exceptions. Consider the readability without commas.

Comma before “as well as”

Normally, you wouldn’t need a comma before “as well as”. However, if the information you’re talking about is less important than the rest of the sentence, you would put a comma before “as well as”.

Interjection

To de-emphasize information and highlight another in a sentence, you can put a comma before “as well as”. However, usually you don’t need to put a comma before “as well as”. In the end, you must decide whether the words you’re connecting to the phrase “as well as” are equally important or not.

Examples

  • My mother, as well as my father, really wants me to become a lawyer.
  • John, as well as Brandon, came to watch me play.
  • The team, as well as the coach, celebrated their victory.

Note: The verb in the first example is “wants” not “want” even though the mother and the father are named. This is because “as well as” doesn’t create a compound subject like “and”.

No comma before “as well as”

Generally, you don’t need to put a comma before “as well as”. The phrase can be used as a synonym for “in addition to” or make simple comparisons.

Used as “in addition to”

If you’re using “as well as” as a synonym for “in addition to”, “along with”, or “not to mention” you usually don’t need a comma before “as well as”.

Examples

  • I like burgers as well as pizza.
  • She enjoys playing the piano as well as the violin.
  • They offer free Wi-Fi as well as breakfast.

Making simple comparison

You should never use a comma before “as well as” if you use it to compare two things. If you were to remove it, it would significantly alter the sentence’s sense or completeness.

Examples

  • She is skilled in marketing as well as in sales.
  • The book covers history as well as science topics.
  • He’s an engineer as well as a musician.

Test yourself!

Practice sheet

Test your understanding of using commas before “as well as” by correctly placing them in 10 sentences. Check your answers in the second tab.

  1. She’s a talented singer as well as a skilled dancer.
  2. The team as well as their coach practiced diligently for the championship.
  3. He enjoys playing basketball as well as soccer.
  4. The conference will host experts in the field as well as renowned keynote speakers.
  5. My vacation plans include visiting historical sites as well as relaxing on the beach.
  6. The software offers enhanced security features as well as improved UID.
  7. They serve various cuisines, including Italian as well as Chinese dishes.
  8. The book covers literature from different periods as well as various genres.
  9. She is a talented artist as well as a dedicated teacher.
  10. The zoo is home to exotic animals as well as native wildlife.
  1. She’s a talented singer as well as a skilled dancer. (No comma)
  2. The team, as well as their coach, practiced diligently for the championship. (Comma)
  3. He enjoys playing basketball as well as (No comma)
  4. The conference will host experts in the field as well as renowned keynote speakers. (No comma)
  5. My vacation plans include visiting historical sites as well as relaxing on the beach. (No comma)
  6. The software offers enhanced security features as well as improved UID. (No comma)
  7. They serve various cuisines, including Chinese as well as American dishes. (No comma)
  8. The book covers literature from different periods as well as various genres. (No comma)
  9. She is a talented artist, as well as a dedicated teacher. (Comma)
  10. The zoo is home to exotic animals, as well as native wildlife. (Comma)
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FAQs

In numerous instances, “as well as” is not surrounded by commas when it is used to add essential information or to indicate that the elements on both sides are equally important to the sentence’s meaning.

However, when “as well as” introduces non-essential information, it is set off by commas to indicate that the information can be omitted without affecting the sentence’s core meaning.

“As well as” is a versatile phrase that can be used in various ways in a sentence. It is often used to add additional information, make comparisons, or provide emphasis. Here are some examples:

  • Addition: The package includes a camera, as well as a variety of lenses and accessories.
  • Comparison: She is a talented writer as well as a skilled public speaker.

Whether you use a comma before “as well” in the middle of a sentence depends on whether it introduces non-essential information, clarifies, or is essential to the sentence’s meaning. The use of commas should help convey the intended meaning and structure of the sentence.