'as well as ' used as 'and'

jiamajia

Senior Member
Mandarin
I learned a notion which says 'as well as' and 'and' have a nuance:

1---I will cooperate with A as well as B .
2---I will cooperate with A and B.

My teacher says the first sentence sounds that B is more important or bigger than A in status, while the second shows no difference between A and B in their importance.


So, he gives the following two sample sentences:

1---I will closely cooperate with local law enforcement as well as the FBI.
2---I will closely cooperate with the FBI as well as the local law enforcement.

According to him, the second one is not necessarily proper when using 'as well as', for the FBI is higher in status than a local unit.


Is what he says right? Thank you.
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I think, generally, it it's a matter of topical emphasis rather than status level. I would say that in many cases the first subject comes first (rather than being the "as well as" subject) because it is the topic of the dialogue. If you are talking principally about the FBI, for example, it's natural that it comes first, without there being an implication that the "as well as" subject is of lesser status or importance. The use of "and" in this context suggests to me that both subjects are the topic. So, I would say that the assertion that this structure is principally about status is arguable.
     

    schoolmeals

    Member
    English - England
    Further to Matching Mole's response, I would tend to agree that actually "as well as" is not necessarily used to reflect status or hierarchy.
    I would interpret your examples as follows:
    1. I will cooperate with A as well as B = I will cooperate with B - that is understood / taken for granted. I am telling the listener that I will also cooperate with A - this might not have been understood.
    2. I will cooperate with A and B = I will cooperate with both parties - the listener may not have been aware of this before my statement.
    I don't find the examples your teacher provided to be particularly helpful as I would imagine the "implicit" cooperation with either the local law enforcement OR the FBI would depend more on the circumstances of the incident calling for your cooperation than the status of these parties.
    Hope this helps! :)
     

    jiamajia

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you both for the replies. I have found some people define 'as well as' being silmilar to 'in addition to' and that matches schoolmeals' opinion.
     
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