WRITING:  AS CLEAR AS A BELL, AS WELL                                         July 20, 2017

Hello, fans of writing and grammar! Welcome back!

A couple of weeks ago, I said that in recent years “as” has often been used incorrectly in writing with or without punctuation, as the case may be, to indicate an addition or a comparison and that we would cover those issues regarding “as” very soon. Let’s gain a better understanding of how to use “as” and whether (and how) to punctuate around it. To that end, examples and brief explanations follow.  (Yes, we’ve actually seen such examples of incorrect usage and much more!)


Comparison:  Comma NOT needed with “as well.”

Wrong:  You sing as well, as he does.  You sing, as well as, he does.  You sing, as well as he does.

Correct:  You sing as well as he does.  [He sings well. So do you.]

See why no comma is needed in that correct usage?


Addition (Like “too,” “also,” “In addition”/”Additionally”):  Comma IS needed with “as well.”

Wrong:  The judge could award joint custody as well.


(a)  The judge could award joint custody, as well.  [The judge could award joint custody, too.  The judge could award joint custody, also.  The judge also could award joint custody.]

(b)  As well, the judge could award joint custody.  [This form is less common.]

[Also, the judge could award joint custody.]

See why the comma is needed in the correct usage of an addition?

See the difference? It’s really very easy to do: A comparison needs no comma while an addition does need a comma. You just need to get used to it. The old adage still applies: Practice makes perfect. If you forget correct usage and applicable punctuation for “as well,” just rephrase to use “too” or “also” (most often). When writing, please pause for a minute to read, think whether what you’re doing makes sense, and then correct your copy. As we always say, “Accuracy = Credibility!”

Many lessons and bits of advice in this writing/grammar series have been taken from Writestyle’s online campus. We have a seemingly endless list of grammar topics to discuss, so stay tuned for more next week and beyond.


Vickie L. Weaver

Vickie L. Weaver

Owner at Writestyle
Writing has been an important talent and part of my life since I was a child.Professionally, after decades of employment for others, I founded Writestyle in 1996 to provide writing, editing, proofreading, training, and more to clients worldwide (www.writestyle.com).Clients often call my work “magic.”I have written and/or edited for “Coexistence Magazine” (national), for “Ohio Magazine,” and for various newspapers.In addition, I have edited or contributed to the writing of numerous books.Personally, I have written in various genres.I have always composed poetry; as such, I have won awards and publication for some of my poems, and I am compiling a book of my poetry.One of my children’s books is set for publication.With my second husband, family and friends in Ohio, I enjoy music and dance, aid charitable causes, and strive for beauty and harmony in life.
Vickie L. Weaver

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