As well as = means ‘and in addition’; ‘and also’; ‘too’; used when we want to refer another item connected with the subject we are talking about; as well as is the conjunction which is frequently misused in most academic texts. Two major errors are generally made in its use:
i) It is often used to mean and which it is not.
ii) The form of the verb following as well as; the verb must agree with the noun preceding as well as; So, when as well as is part of the subject, the verb has to agree with the noun before as well as:
Patterson, as well as Fred, want to stand for County Council election to serve the people of Essex. ✗
Patterson, as well as Fred, wants to stand for County Council election to serve the people of Essex. √ (as well as does not make subjects plural)
Drinking coffee is stressbuster as well as it increases your energy level. ✗
Drinking coffee is stressbuster as well as increasing your energy level. √ (verbs after as well as come in –ing form)
Sophia sings as well as choreographs. ✗
Sophia sings as well as choreographing. √ (she not only sings, but also choreographs)
Sophia sings as well as she choreographs. √ (her singing is as good as her choreographing)
He has to take the dog for a walk as well as clean the poop. √ (after an infinitive in the main clause, an infinitive without to is used)
Notice that the phrase ‘as well as’ is not equivalent to ‘and’ because ‘and’ connects two components of equal importance while as well as focuses more on one of the elements. As well as may be termed as similar to the correlative ‘not only…but also’, however, the emphasis is put on the component that comes before as well as.
They have spoken to Bob as well as Jim. (there is more emphasis on Bob)
On the New Year’s Eve, she likes singing as well as dancing. (emphasis is on singing)
My bike and the car have broken down today.
My bike, as well as, the car has broken down today. (= not only the car but also the bike; emphasis on the bike)
In the first sentence, no distinction has been made between the bike and the car and both are on an equal footing. In the second sentence, an uneven emphasis is put on the bike, suggesting that there is stronger emphasis on the bike than it relates to the car.
Now see the sentence:
Judaism is practised in Israel, as well as in other parts of the world. ✗ (means Judaism is practised not only in other parts of the world, but also in Israel – weird). Hence, it is wrong to replace and with as well as just to avoid a repetition of and:
The present government focuses on health care, infrastructure and development, as well as immigration. ✗ (since all these areas are equally important and none has to be more emphasised)
He broke his wrist, as well as having bruises all over the face when skateboarding.
When as well as functions as a conjunction, there are chances of errors of subject-verb agreement:
The principal as well as the teachers were called for the meeting. ✗
In this sentence, the phrase as well as the teachers is just parenthetical; the true subject is the principal and the verb should agree with it i.e. was.
To make it clearer, using commas around the parenthetical subjects may be recommended:
The principal, as well as the teachers, was called for the meeting. √ (Though even without commas, it is not wrong)
When two subjects are joined with as well as, the verb agrees with the first subject. That’s the rule. And to find out the subject of a sentence, remove any phrases that begin with accompanied by, along with, including, together with, in addition to, except, or as well as.
Mercury, as well as Venus, orbit the Sun. ✗
Here, the Mercury is the subject with which the verb must agree; as well as Venus has no value.
Mercury, as well as Venus, orbits the Sun. √