The usage of "as well as", some unclear

This is a discussion thread · 7 replies
Problem 1: After reading Micheal Swan's book, the section indicates verbs after as well as, he says:

When we put a verb after as well as, we most often use the -ing form

ex: Smoking is dangerous, as well as making you smell bad (1)

(NOT: as well as it makes you smell bad)

After an infinitive in the main clause, an infinitive without to is possible

Ex: I have to feed the animals, as well as look after the children (2)

So, what I want to ask is, whether in the sentence (1), can we use " As well as makes you smell bad"?

And sentence (2), can we use:" As well as looking after the children"

If positive, what is the difference in the meaning of two sentences above?

Problem 2: After checking on BBC, I found another matter:

"What is interesting in your example, Van Anh, is that if you say: 'I can swim as well as cook well', you are stating that these are two things that you can do, whereas if you say: 'I can swim as well as I can cook', you are stating that you can do both these things to an equal degree of proficiency."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv53.shtml

I think, when we use: " I can swim as well as cook well" , we are stating that we can do both these things to an equal degree of proficiency, but when we use" I can swimm as well as I can cook", we just imply there are two things we can do. That means my opinion is opposite to Mr Roger's answer
Regular Member630
Hello Belly,

When we use ‘as well as’, we need to ask ourselves whether we want it to mean either ‘in addition to / and’ or ‘equally well’.

First, if we want it to mean ‘in addition to / and, then the verbal phrase comes after ‘as well as’ must follow the grammar rules that you cited:’

Most of the time we use –ing form (participial phrase functions as adjectives):

“Smoking is dangerous, as well as making you smell bad” is the same as “In addition to making you smell bad, smoking is dangerous.”

However, we must observe one exception when we use infinitive in the main clause: the verbal phrase is also in infinitive form to preserve symmetry, for example:

I have to feed the animals, plant the crop, as well as look after the children.” (Note the infinitive form of the three verbs, and the conjunctive role of as well as).

Second, if we want ‘as well as’ to mean ‘equally well’, then ‘as well as’ must modify the main verb (e.g., I sing as well as (I) play piano ‘as well as’ is adverbial).

One caution: do not use as well as to mean and when it could also mean ‘equally well’, for example: “Please paint this chair as well as that table.”

Perhaps, that explanation is too wordy but I hope it helps.
Hoa Thai
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Anonymous:
Mr. Roger is correct. Some grammatical analysis is necessary in order to realize why.

The reason that the case of "I have to feed the animals, as well as look after them" does not extend to "Smoking is dangerous, as well as makes you smell bad" is because "makes" is not an infinitive, which "look" is. If you are inclined to object that "look" cannot be an an infinitive if there is no "to," consider "swim" in "I can swim." English infinitives do not always have the "to" particle or preposition--whatever you want to name it (grammarians disagree on the class). The presence and absence of "to" is determined by the syntax of the rest of the sentence.

As to you second objection, you have failed to distinguish the set phrase "as well as" from a comparative construction of the form "as ___ as" that superficially resembles it. It is parallel to "I can swim as fast as I can cook," "I can swim as poorly as I can cook," etc., and is quite definitely a statement of comparative proficiency. "I can swim as well as cook well" is indisputably a statement of two things "I" can do.

These are not matters of opinion, but matters requiring some analysis from the standpoint of syntax.

-Geof Garvey, freelance technical editor
So, what I want to ask is, whether in the sentence (1), can we use " As well as makes you smell bad"? No.

And sentence (2), can we use:" As well as looking after the children" No.

You have to keep both parts without -ing, or both parts with -ing.
___________________

I think, when we use: " I can swim as well as cook well" , we are stating that we can do both these things to an equal degree of proficiency. No. Nothing is said about how well I can swim. as well as is used as a substitute for and in this sentence.

I can
swim < [ doesn't say how well I can swim ]

and

cook well. < [does say how well I can cook ]

but when we use" I can swimm as well as I can cook", we just imply there are two things we can do. No. as well as is comparative here. The meaning is: The degree of skill with which I can swim equals the degree of skill with which I can cook.

You have these two reversed in your mind!

CJ
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Anonymous:
CAN THE USAGE OF"AS WELL AS "OCCUR IN THE FORMATION OF COMPLEX SENTENCES????????
There is no restriction on the kinds of sentences 'as well as' can occur in. It can occur in any kind of sentence.

CJ

(Please don't post in capitals. It means you are shouting. Emotion: smile )
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Anonymous:
you have internal beauty as well as external beauty , is it right or wrong?
You have internal beauty as well as external beauty. -- OK.
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