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What is the proper way to punctuate a sentence containing "as well as"?

For example, in the sentence:

I hope to provide students with a solid foundation in the field as well as challenge them with the contemporary problems facing practitioners.

Should there be a comma

  • before the first "as",

  • after the second "as",

  • both, or

  • other?

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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Before the first as:

I hope to provide students with a solid foundation in the field, as well as challenge them with the contemporary problems facing practitioners.

Think of the comma as separating two thoughts. The first thought is providing students with a solid foundation in the field, while the second thought is as well as challenging them with the contemporary problems facing practitioners. The as well as belongs to the second thought, so the comma separates it from the first.

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