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1a- He hurt his arm, as well as breaking his leg.

1b- He hurt his arm, as well as broke his leg. (Can I use "broke" here as well?)


2a- He can play the guitar as well as sing. (Are both versions okay? )

2b- He can play the guitar as well as singing.


This source says that "If there is an infinitive in the main clause, an infinitive without to is possible after as well as." And gives a example:

3a- I have to clean the floors as well as cook the food. (Is this sentence correct? )

3b- I have to clean the floors as well as cooking the food. (This version is also possible I suppose? )

2 Answers 2

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In these sorts of contexts, "as well as" means 'in addition to" or "besides". A possible source of confusion is that "as well as" can also mean "with at least a great a degree of skill or ability". Thus "I can play the violin as well as the viola" probably means simply "I play both instruments" but may mean "I play them with equal skill". "I can play the violin as well as he can." means that my skill on the violin is (at least) equal to his. This meanig of "as well as" can cause ambiguity.

More specifically, 1a and 1b are grammatically fine. So is 2a. 2b seems a little awkward to me, although i won't say that it is wrong. 2a also hints at the "equal skill" meaning, at least to my ear. 3a is fully grammatical and seems quite natural to me. 3B seems slightly awkward, but not wrong.

Examples which do not exhibit the strict parallelism insisted on by Lambie:

  • Basketball: Playing as Well as You Practice by Dre Baldwin (ISBN 9781985885912)
  • My Lord inspired me, gave me the opportunity, and guided me thought the process of my cookbook's writing as well as gave me wisdom, knowledge, and all the neccesary equipment ... (Ukrainian Cuisine with an American Touch and Ingredients p 24
  • Look What Kate Can Do: One Hand Works As Well As Two by Katie Leatherwood and Paul Leatherwood (ISBN 9781631771712) {subject and verb not repeated in comparative use}
  • Clinical studies indicate that marijuana does none of these things as well as the best medications available (Marijuana As Medicine? by Institute of Medicine, Janet Joy, Alison Mack; National Academies Press ) {verb not repeated}
  • Robert Flaherity was the documentary film's first poet as well as itinerant ethnographer. (The Subject of Documentary U of Minnesota Press. p 82)
  • The tidal rhythms, as well as the range of tide vary from ocean to ocean. (The Sea around Us by Rachel Carson, Oxford University press, p 191) {lack of verb agreement defeats parallelism}
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  • 1a and 1b may be grammatically fine, but I think that in most contexts it would be better to simply say, "He hurt his arm and broke his leg." Of the three example, only #2 seems to be a fitting use of as well as.
    – J.R.
    Jul 22, 2019 at 20:50
  • I don't think 1a or 2b are grammatical at all. There is no valid parallelism: no part of the left side can successfully be replaced by the right side.
    – TypeIA
    Jul 22, 2019 at 21:02
  • @typeIA What makes you say that such parallelism is required? source please. I do not believe that there is any such requirement. Jul 22, 2019 at 21:37
  • @David Siegel Thank you What if the "as well as" part is used at the beginning of a sentence? "As well as injured his leg, he broke his arm too." Is okay to you? or do we have to use "injuring" here? Jul 24, 2019 at 4:04
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Whatever verb is used after as well as (when it means "and") has to be the same tense as they first verb.

There must be parallelism of form and/or tense.

He hurt his arm, as well as broke his leg.

I have to clean the floors as well as cook the food.

This function exactly as an "and" would function.

I love playing the guitar as well has singing songs.

So, the answer to the question is no: you can't have clean and cooking. It's clean and cooK.

I have to clean the floors as well as cook the food. is not a sentence without a "to".

The rule is simply that you need when you use "as well as", there must be parallelism of form (I love playing tennis: gerund phrase) or tense (We walked the dog as well as played with the cat.).

When "as well as" is comparative, there must also be parallelism and you have to repeat the subject and verb:

  • I play the guitar as well as I play the piano.
  • He swims as well as I do.
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  • who says that such strict parallelism is required? Source please. Jul 22, 2019 at 21:39
  • I love playing the piano as well as wash the dog.? I think not. He hurt his arm as well as breaking his leg.? I think not. He has to clean latrines as well as cleaning floors.? I think not. Tell me, can you think of one example? None of the examples with simple present plus continuous present work. I say: where is your reference? All the ones in the OP's examples that are correct are strictly parallel. Your answer gives no information at all, really.
    – Lambie
    Jul 22, 2019 at 22:44
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    My reference currently is the same as yours seems to be, personal experience. But as you raise the issue of such a requirement, it seems to me that the burden is on you to establish it by citing some source. I find the 2nd and 3rd of the examples in your comment work perfectly well. Who besides you says otherwise? Still I will see if I can find some published examples Jul 22, 2019 at 22:50
  • Note examples now added to my answer. Jul 22, 2019 at 23:56
  • OK, what if we reverse the order of the clauses: "As well as ___ his leg, he broke his arm too." Would we seriously have to say, "As well as injured his leg, he broke his arm too?"
    – Lorel C.
    Jul 23, 2019 at 1:19

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