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I was given a text to read by my teacher which contains the following sentence:

Speaking a foreign language one can not only read the papers, magazines and original books by outstanding writers, but as well watch satellite programmes, use the internet, travel easily to different parts of the world.

Is it correct to use as well at the beginning of the phrase after but? Should as well be set off by commas in this case?

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As well is an adverb meaning ‘also; in addition’ and its use in your example is grammatical. That, however, is not to say that it is an ideal sentence. Readers might expect as well, coming at that stage in the sentence, to be part of as well as for which they will look in vain. In terms of style, it might be preferable to break the sentence into two, ending the first at writers and beginning the second with In addition, one can watch . . .

A further point: and is needed between internet and travel.

  • Don’t you think a coordination of Not only ... but also ... as well is a more expected form? – tchrist May 2 '12 at 12:44
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    @tchrist Wouldn't as well then be redundant? – Kris May 2 '12 at 12:57
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    @Kris Well, sure: the postfixed as well isn’t necessary, since the also suffices for that purpose. Think of it as an intensifier. I just don’t know any good examples of a prefixed as well in English; it sounds off to me. – tchrist May 2 '12 at 13:14

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