[Grammar] Also, As Well, Or Too?

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The expressions “also”, “as well” and “too” have similar meanings. How to distinguish them?

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1. Also

(1) “Also” is commonly used in writing, but is less common in speaking. It occupies different positions in a sentence. We use it in front position to emphasize what follows or to add a new point or topic:

  • It`s very humid. Also, you can easily get sunburnt.
  • [on the telephone] OK, I`ll phone you next week and we can discuss it then. Also, we need to decide who will be going to Singapore.

(2) We use this word in the normal mid position for adverbs, between the subject and main verb, or after the modal verb or first auxiliary verb, or after be as a main verb. In this position, the meaning of also usually connects back to the whole clause that comes before:

  • She works very hard but she also goes to the gym every week.

(3) In the end position, it normally connects two phrases. We use “as well” and “too” instead of “also”, in the end position, especially in speech:

  • She contacted him in the office but he didn`t answer the phone. His mobile phone was silent also.

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2. As well

“As well” is much more common in speaking than in writing, and is more common in speaking than “also”. “As well” almost always comes in end position:

– A: I`ll have steak, please.

– B: Yes.

– A: And I`ll have the mixed vegetables as well.

3. Too

(1) We usually put “too” in the end position:

  • Gill`s having chicken. I`ll probably have chicken too.
  • She looks really tired and she must be really hungry too.

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(2) It can occur immediately after the subject if it refers directly to the subject. It does not normally occur after a modal or auxiliary verb. We sometimes write commas before and after “too”:

  • We, too, have been very pleased to receive the prize on her behalf.

(3) This word is especially common in responses to fixed expressions such as giving good wishes, and in responses consisting of a single object pronoun:

– A: Enjoy the play.

– B: Thanks. You enjoy your evening too

– A: I need to go to the gym.

– B: Yeah, me too.

(4) In imperative clauses, “as well” and “too” are normally preferred to “also”:

  • Give me a book of ten first and a book of ten second as well then, please.

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Practice:

#1 My parents, __________, have been so delight to invite you to our home.

#2 I’ve been working in the garden this week, and I’ve __________ been reading a lot.

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