Student or Learner
"The primary motion, together with 13 alternative motions, is/are the subject of the decision."
Which is correct, is or are?
2006: I am inclined to agree, but what if we replace "together with" with "and", which in this example, would be synonymous?
Hmmmm. I'm thinking.
Are you both sure that it wouldn't be subjects then?
The primary motion and the 13 alternate motions are the subjects of the decision.
Or do you think subject is already okay?
The primary motion, together with 13 alternative (not alternate) motions, is the matter of the decision.
2006 is correct: if you simply conjoin NPs by means of prepositions (together with, along with, etc.), the phrase thus produced does not constitute a compound subject and thus has no bearing on verbal number. 'And', on the other hand, is a true coordinating conjunction.
'together with', 'as well as', etc. are pseudo-coordinators. Pseudo comes from the fact (I think) that the conjoins affect the number of the verb according to the number of the first conjoin. If the two conjoins are singular, the verb will be singular. When the first conjoin is plural, the verb will be plural too.