The phrase “as well as” confuses many native English speakers, even if they are well-versed in grammar rules. Simply put, you do not need to use a comma before “as well as”.
As Well As—Meaning
Basically, “as well as” means “in addition to.”
Some examples include:
Please make sure you buy bread as well as milk.
Proofread your work to catch grammatical inconsistencies as well as spelling mistakes.
A watermelon is colorful as well as delicious.
You can also use “as well as” if you are trying to make a comparison.
I cannot play soccer as well as Lionel Messi.
I wish I could sing as well as Bruce Springsteen.
I can dance as well as Michael Jackson.
Some synonyms for “as well as” include:
- along with
- among other things
- in addition to
- in conjunction with
- inclusive of
- made up of
- not to mention
- together with
The Correct Punctuation for “As Well As”
Usually, you do not need to put a comma before “as well as.” When you use a comma, you turn the subject of the sentence into an aside — something that is less important than everything else in the sentence.
This is where you need to use your best judgment. As the speaker, you must decide whether the things connected with “as well as” are as important as each other.
Dave, as well as Susan, loves his trading card collection.
In the above sentence, Susan is an aside - you could include this clause in parentheses. As such, this sentence de-emphasizes Susan and places the focus on Dave. Also, see how you place one comma before and after the phrase.
However, if you want the part about Susan to be similarly important, you should remove the commas and swap “as well as” for “and.”
In addition, when making a comparison do not include a comma. This is grammatically incorrect.