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I would like to know the subtle difference between these words. When writing an essay, I usually encounter a difficulty: Can as well as be used interchangeably with and? For example, if I write

I was asked to write a letter of complaint wherein I had to convey my remonstrance about the hotel, where I stayed on my holiday; as well as having to require an action, thereby urging the manager of the hotel to remedy the problems I had been encountering as long as I was living there.

will as well as mean and? To be honest, I see that as well as denotes in addition to. Indeed, in the sentence above two things were expressed: 1) I am given the information on which I must draw to write a letter of complaint, 2) Problems must be solved.

On the other hand, and would imply the same, were I to use it instead of as well as, and it would mean "in addition to" or "also".

At any rate, I think up another example:

I love being interviewed as well as required to express my opinion.

In fact, it means "I love when I am interviewed, and (in addition to that) when I am required (asked) to tell someone my opinion on a thing". As you discern, as well as associate the two things.

I love being interviewed, as well as playing computer games.

The meaning of the sentence ìs "I love when people interview me, and in addition to that, I like playing computer games".

It turns out that and means "also" and "in addition to", does it not? Beside that, as well as denotes the same. Or as well as differs from and? For instance,

I have bought a car as well as a book today.

I have bought a car and a book.

Is the first sentence correct? Do both sentences mean "I have bought a car; in addition to that, I have also purchased a book"?

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    I love being interviewed as well as being required to express my opinion. You have to repeat "being". "as well as" is not 100% equal to "and" by any means but I am too tired to bang out an answer today. – Lambie May 12 '19 at 18:32
  • You cannot use as well as for the same sense of concurrency as you can with and. For instance, eating and drinking normally means both eating and drinking at the same time. But as well as has no such implication. You can replace and with as well as (with some syntactical adjustments in some cases), but it may not have the same meaning. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 12 '19 at 18:42
  • "As well as" isn't really a synonym for "and". If you were looking for a true synonym "too" might be closer, but the position in the sentence is different. "As well as" tends to put the secondary activity or object first and the primary one second. In your first sentence gaming is the primary activity and being interviewed (presumably about the gaming) is the secondary one. If you were going to use "too" you might say "I like playing computer games and I like being interviewed too." In your second example you would say "I bought a book today, and a car too." – BoldBen May 12 '19 at 19:18
  • Did you look at a bunch of usage examples in a good dictionary? If so, please include in your question a link to the page you looked it. You're supposed to show what you did on your own to attempt to solve the problem. Also, it's up to you to make your text readable, using block text, italics, bold face or quotation marks. – aparente001 May 13 '19 at 5:41
  • The idiomatic use of "as well as" does mean approximately "and", (or "in addition to"): She means what she says as well as/and says what she means. – BillJ May 13 '19 at 6:43
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to be interviewed as well as would preferably continue with a comparison of the quality of the interview process. In some instances, this comparison can introduce another object to the predicate of the matrix clause. That's where as well as really shines.

He solved the first task as well as the second.

That is a clear example. How about another one

He tried writing the report as well as finishing the experiment.

Usually, a researcher would want to finish the experiment before writing the report. But in some instances either might depend on the other. Specifically, the experiment will only be recognized if it is written up well. But this is not a strict rule (i.e. I just made it up.

By extension as well as has come to mean and.

I have bought a car as well as a book today.

Sometimes this might even be intended to contrast with and, separating the items in the sentence, thus removing any close relation between the items. The same could be assumed for a separation of times

I love being interviewed, as well as playing computer games.

where and might mean doing both synchronously. [I love] is implicit in the half-sentence, and as well as is understood as an adverb to love; Nobody hears as well as I play in that context. I love X as well as I love Y is legal. The difficulty comes from the peculiar English comparison syntax. Reading it differently, an implication could be seen, "I love X, too, as I love Y". And that seems to be exactly what you want to express

I love being interviewed as well as [being] required to express my opinion.

This use of as for because, ie. as it requires me, is somewhat peculiar, similar to when or since.

Although the sentence sounds stilted with the second [being], it sounds wrong without it, because of the separating effect of the idiom.


Also consider paradoxes: I am meeting JFK and jumping [or Jumping?] Jack. I suppose that as well as has a ring of while (I mean if it implies timely coincidence, but I can't be sure of its history). Given that while is from PIE *kʷyeh₁- "to rest", and well from PIE *welh₁- "to wish, want", it would be funny if both related in the sense to dream. It's not easy to see how to wish become adverbial good (Akkusative as desired)

German has similarly so wohl ... als auch "so well ... as also", wohl being cognate to well; as well as so gut wie "as good as, almost". well is also used to express uncertainty. Well, I don't speak Swedish, but väl works well the same as German wohl in that regard. On the other hand, it may express certainy, too, in Norwegian Nynorsk, similar to surely. So, if as well as expresses positive affirmation the same as German sowohl als auch, then it's pretty much out of place for any statement that wasn't doubted to begin with, but useful in "did you buy the stuff?", "Yes, I was successful and bought the car as well as the book."

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  • Given an example like "I have bought a car, a notebook, as well as a book", I cannot point out any difference "and" and "as well as". Nonetheless, the latter might denote "in addition to", thus removing relations between the two things before it. In contrast to as well as, and binds elements of a list. Should I say "I do my homework and write a letter to my friend", then it will mean that the actions are done simultaneously. On the contrary, using as well as instead of and would imply that one of these actions had been done before the other. I wonder if I have understood the matter. – sergei ivanov May 13 '19 at 15:12
  • The comma is understood to stand for as well as as well, it's just omitted for brevity, and indeed because it functions like and in that sense. You simply can't do your homework while writing to a friend, so it always be understood as a sequence of events, unless otherwise noted. I was just trying to see to the semantics of well in this idiom. I'm sure there are better examples, maybe he ended the show as well as he had started it. – vectory May 13 '19 at 15:45
  • In the last your example "he ended the show as well as he had started it", does as well as mean "in the same way"? or does it mean "as good as"? – sergei ivanov May 13 '19 at 15:58
  • I don't see the difference. It basically means as good as, but we start well [into the new year], not good. You might want to check out ell.stackexchange – vectory May 13 '19 at 16:17
  • And means also. Either does As well as. However, out of your answer, as well as is more than and. I mean that as well as can express comparison: I did my homework as well as making my room tidy; if I say "I have bought a car, a home, as well as a book", then it might mean "not only have I bought a car and a home but a book as well". And in that sentence, and would mean that a book was enlisted, that is, was purchased also. Is it correct? – sergei ivanov May 13 '19 at 16:50

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