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Considering the conjunction "as well as", have I punctuated this sentence correctly?

"The total potential energy for the semi-circular portion can be explained in terms of internal stored flexural, shear, and axial energies, as well as external energy, given in Eq. (1)"

  • I think to most people the words you use are simply jargon and so just confuse matters, could you give another example with more common-place words? – BladorthinTheGrey Sep 13 '16 at 20:45
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    Nevertheless, if we are to accurately help you we need to be able to fully understand the question, whilst keeping your current example up, could you add another example with common-place words just so that we get how it is being used? For instance the total calories for this portion can be explained in terms of chips, sausages and bacon, as well as [the] external calories, given in Eq. 1. This may be total gibberish, but it clearly gets across which words are of which classification of word etc. so that no confusion can be caused. – BladorthinTheGrey Sep 13 '16 at 21:09
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    Well I'm no expert on this particular point of grammar, but it doesn't seem that the as well as is essential to the sentence, so doesn't require a comma. You may however want to put it in stylistically. Personally, I think it parses better with a comma, but others may have arguments backed-up by evidence, and I bow to their knowledge. – BladorthinTheGrey Sep 13 '16 at 21:18
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    John and Jemima, as well as their children, are coming to see us. Whilst the commas are not essential, they are most desirable. – WS2 Sep 13 '16 at 21:30
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    Your compound prepositional phrase “as well as external energy” does not sensibly modify a word in the sentence. It is a dangling modifier which doesn’t modify “energies” or “terms” and cannot connect to “of” [of as well as]. Rewrite the sentence. One correct version is given: "The total potential energy for the semi-circular portion can be explained in terms of internal stored flexural, shear, and axial energies, and in terms of external energy, given in Eq. (1)" – Arch Denton Sep 14 '16 at 5:05
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If you think of what you are really comparing, the sentence easily rewrites itself. You are comparing (1) internal stored flexural, shear, and axial energies AND (2) external energy given in Eq.(1). The two phrases need only be joined by an "and." "As well as" needs "not only" to make a proper comparison. If you don't want to use "and," the sentence can be rewritten thus: "The total . . . can be explained not only as internal . . . energy but also as external energy given in Eq.(1). You should really start with the shorter phrase (external energy) for ease of reading.

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Your instincts are right regarding *as well as**: in general one doesn't need it. It often amounts not only to an and, but to an and on top of another and.

It's not clear from you example what Eq. (1) includes. Does it include:

  • All the types of energy you've listed, including external energy (Option A)

    OR

  • External energy only (Option B)?

If Option A is what you want to say, you could write:

"As indicated in Eq. (1), the total potential energy for the semi-circular portion can be explained in terms of the external energy and the internal stored flexural, shear, and axial energies."

If Option B is what you want to say, you could write:

"The total potential energy for the semi-circular portion can be explained in terms of the external energy, indicated in Eq. (1), and the internal stored flexural, shear, and axial energies."

There are numerous possibilities depending on what you want to say and how you want to say it.

In both options, it helps to present external energy first, followed by the list of internally stored energies. That order facilitates the removal of as well as and results in clearer statements. At that's how I see it.

  • Thank you guys....thanks to you all, I changed the whole structure and now it works perfectly fine. – Sajjad Sep 14 '16 at 6:15
  • @Sajjid Glad to hear it! – Richard Kayser Sep 14 '16 at 6:19
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I would propose

The total potential energy for the semi-circular portion can be expressed in terms of internal, stored energy (flexural, shear, and axial) as well as external energy, as shown in Eq. (1).

Alternatively you could say "along with external energy."

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