We use "as well as" to mean "and in addition", "and also", but the following sentence completely made me confused:

There are roughly 1000 different words for “water,” as well as for “louse”.

I know that above mentioned sentence should mean that "there are roughly 1000 different words for “water,” and also for “louse”.

Doesn't that mean that there are individually 1000 words for “water” and another 1000 words for “louse”? If so, then we have 2000 words. Please correct me if I am asking wrong.


Yes, it means that there are 1000 words each for "water" and "louse", for a total of roughly 2000 words. Consider it this way:

There are roughly 1000 different words for “water,” as well as [1000 words] for “louse”.

The original version is simply a shortcut.

By the way, in math, this would be the distributive property:

1000 words (water + louse) = 1000 words (water) + 1000 words (louse)

  • I understand what you mean by your diagram, but it's still wildly misleading since 1000 words for "water and louse" is NOT 1000 words for "water" and 1000 more words for "louse". The part before that is golden, though. – lly Jul 23 '18 at 19:22
  • There is a big difference between ...1000 words for water and louse and 1000 words for water and for louse. The former means that there is a total of 1000 words for [water and louse] together while the latter indicates that there are 1000 words each for water and for louse as two separate items. – Roger Sinasohn Jul 23 '18 at 19:53

When someone says "as well as" it generally means "and in addition," which is the same thing as saying "and." Thus, "as well as for louse" is the same as saying "and for louse." See Merriam-Webster's definition.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.