is vs. are

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Allen165

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"The primary motion, together with 13 alternative motions, is/are the subject of the decision."

Which is correct, is or are?

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2006

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"The primary motion, together with 13 alternate motions, is the subject of the decision."

Which is correct, is or are? "is" But the sentence is odd.

Thanks.
The subject of the sentence is "The primary motion".
 

billmcd

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2006: I am inclined to agree, but what if we replace "together with" with "and", which in this example, would be synonymous?
 

2006

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2006: I am inclined to agree, but what if we replace "together with" with "and", which in this example, would be synonymous?
Then we would have a compound subject, without commas, and the correct verb would be "are". :)
 

billmcd

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Hmmmm. I'm thinking.
 

Nightmare85

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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?

Cheers!
 

2006

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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?
Yes, I would use "subjects". But again, it's an odd sentence.
Cheers!
2006
 

Allen165

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The primary motion, together with 13 alternative (not alternate) motions, is the matter of the decision.
 

philo2009

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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.
 

corum

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'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.
 

bertietheblue

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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?

Cheers!

I would use 'subject' since the subject is 'the motions' (note how here and above it is sometimes fine to use the singular as the grammatical subject but the plural in the predicate, and vice versa). The sense is 'they are the subject of the decision'.
 

Teia

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"The primary motion, together with 13 alternative motions, is/are the subject of the decision."

Which is correct, is or are?

Thanks.

The subject of the sentence is motion; therefore, you have to use the verb in the singular, i.e. is

The primary motion, together with 13 alternative motions, is the subject of the decision.
 

bertietheblue

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The subject of the sentence is motion; therefore, you have to use the verb in the singular, i.e. is

The primary motion, together with 13 alternative motions, is the subject of the decision.

If this is a response to my post: I agree in the context but I am simply responding to Nightmare85's post.
 

Teia

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If this is a response to my post: I agree in the context but I am simply responding to Nightmare85's post.

Hi bertietheblue!

I was trying to give an answer to Jasmine`s post. Any other answers are most welcome, of course. I`m not a native teacher and I`m trying to learn as much as possible from native teachers.

Thank you.
 

philo2009

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'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.

I fail to see the value of this overly complex, and yet incomplete, statement of the rule, since, by failing to mention the possible combination singular+plural conjoin, it would apparently admit as possible

*My brother, together with my sisters, are planning to visit our mother next week.

rather than correct ...is planning...

It is the first conjoin - and that alone - that governs the person and number of the verb. The second, as prepositional object, is quite immaterial!
 
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