You may have heard the phrases “as following,” “as follows,” and “as follow” and wondered if they are all grammatically correct or if one or more is preferred or used over the others. Here we discuss the three phrases and instruct on proper usage within the modern English language.
Is It “As Following”, “As Follows”, Or “As Follow”?
“As follows” is a standardly accepted idiom in the English language, whereas “as following” and “as follow” are not. “As follows” is a shortened way to say “as it follows” and is often (although not always) followed by a colon when presenting a list of items.
Although “follows” is technically the present tense of “follow,” you would still use it for this expression regardless of if the things you are listing happened in the past or the present (i.e., “the rules she laid out were as follows” or “I will lay out the rules as follows”).
Even though “as follows” is the only grammatically correct phrase, you will still often hear the other phrases used in conversational and sometimes written English. Do not adopt this usage yourself as it is never correct to use the other two expressions.
Is “As Following”, “As Follows”, Or “As Follow” Used The Most?
The phrase “as follows” is used more than “as following” and “as follow” and is the only one of the three phrases that has been consistently used throughout history. Even as far back as the year 1800, the other two phrases had little or non-existent usage.
The Google Ngram Viewer here backs up the fact that “as follows” is the only standard form of usage for this expression. You can see that “as following” was never commonly used and “as follow” was only slightly used from 1800 until about the late 1880s.
The phrase “as follows” had a peak in usage from about 1900 to 1940 and then gradually declined until it leveled out at about the year 2014 and remains rather steady at that level up until today.
Is It Ever Correct To Use “As Following” And “As Follow”?
It is not ever correct or standardly accepted to use “as following” and “as follow” in the English Language. People will suggest that “as follow” is the correct plural form of the phrase “as follows,” but that is incorrect, as the phrase “as follows” is always singular tense.
The phrase “as following” is never correct to use in the context that it appears here. A similar phrase “as the following” can be used but it must have the word “the” in between the words “as” and “following.” Even with the word “the” in the phrase, it is still not very popularly used in the English Language.
As a general rule, stick with the phrase “as follows” for every type of context where you want to convey the message “as it follows.”
What Does “As Follows” Mean?
“As follows” is a shortened form of the phrase “as it follows” and is used properly in sentences to refer to what comes next or the things listed in a specific list.
The official definition of “as follows” according to The Cambridge Dictionary is “the ones named here:” and has a note attached to it that reads “used to introduce a list of items, often in a particular order.”
The phrases “as follow” and “as following” do not appear in the dictionary, further reiterating that they are not proper phrases to be used.
Examples Of How To Use “As Following”, “As Follows”, And “As Follow” In A Sentence
You will often hear in conversation people using “as following” or “as follow” instead of “as follows.” As we discussed, this wording is an incorrect usage. You should always use “as follows” within a sentence if referring to a list of items.
Look at these sentences to see how “as follows” is used correctly and the other two phrases are used incorrectly.
- Incorrect: The winners of the award for top sales performers are as following: John Smith, Jane Blake, Maria Suez, and Mark England.
- Correct: The winners of the award for top sales performers are as follows: John Smith, Jane Blake, Maria Suez, and Mark England.
- Incorrect: The rules for using the neighborhood pool are as follow: no drinks in glass containers, no running, and no more than 3 guests per resident.
- Correct: The rules for using the neighborhood pool are as follows: no drinks in glass containers, no running, and no more than 3 guests per resident.
Now, let’s look at a few more examples where “as follows” is used correctly:
- The hours that the community center is open are as follows: Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Saturday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
- The presentation will run approximately 2 hours and will be structured as follows.
- The events of the day will run as follows: meet and greet, sales presentation, small group discussion, lunch, large group discussion, closing remarks.
See how in the examples, even though there are multiple items on many of the lists, the proper phrase is still “as follows” and not “as follow.”
“As Follows” – Synonyms
There are other ways that you can convey the same meaning of “as follows.” Some of the most commonly used synonyms for the phrase include:
- Like this
- Along these lines
- In this manner
- In the following way
- According to these reasons
Let’s look at each of these synonyms in a sentence.
- The first chapter in the book is laid out like this: Introduction and Overview, About the Author, Brief Synopsis of the Following Chapters.
- The next section of the paper continues along these lines, further elaborating on the subject that the author has briefly introduced.
- Structuring your workday in this manner should provide you with the most success and best use of your time.
- The budget specifically allows for an increase in salaries for hourly workers over the next 3 years.
- If you construct the table in the following way, you will find that it is sturdy and long-lasting.
- If you base a friendship according to these reasons, you will find that you do not have a lasting relationship.
Notice how in each of these six examples, you could replace the synonym with the phrase “as follows” and the sentence would still make sense, so they are acceptable alternatives to saying “as follows.”
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Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.