Would I write, "He, as well, no longer held the need to impress her" or "He as well no longer held the need to impress her"?

Which is grammatically correct?

  • held the need is rather unidiomatic. – KarlG Aug 4 '18 at 23:10

If you put the dependent clause in the middle of the sentence like that (between subject and action), then you would "need" to couch it in commas to set it off from the rest of the phrase, and because you would pause there, anyway (read it out loud).

If you moved that modifier -- it's almost like an adverb, come to think of it ["as" definitely is] -- to the end of the sentence, you would only need one to set it off.

He no longer held the need to impress her, as well.

But then you have to be careful with the semantics in context, and make sure that the sentence before doesn't make it ambiguous -- indeed, reducing ambiguity would be the strongest argument to jam it as close to the subject as possible, commas be damned.

  • 1) as well is not a dependent clause. 2) You're using couch incorrectly. 3) At the end of the sentence there is no way as well can still modify he. 4) As well is like also, so no need for commas. – KarlG Aug 4 '18 at 23:14
  • 1) Yes, it is. There is an omitted syntactic referent to which as refers, @KarlG . "He, as well as her parents, no longer held the need to impress her." 2) Yes, I am. oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/couch_2 3) Yes, it can. "Her parents no longer felt the need to impress her. He no longer held the need to impress her, as well." 4) ? The question makes no mention of "also," but those differences are outlined here in more detail than your comment. – tidbertum Aug 5 '18 at 16:13
  • To couch something in a particular way means to express it, as that definition suggests. Couched in obscure language, couched in terms of… To use it to refer to punctuation is highly unidiomatic. – KarlG Aug 6 '18 at 14:38

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