This post will cover some common connecting words and phrases. The agreement of the verb depends on the particular connecting word or phrase.
- With the connecting words neither + nor and either + or, the verb must agree with the subject that is closer to the verb.
Neither the professor nor her students are in the library.
Neither the students nor the professor is in the library.
Either my mother or my uncles are taking a vacation next week.
Either my uncles or my mother is taking a vacation next week.
- With the connecting phrases along with and together with, the verb must agree with the first noun mentioned.
The professor, along with her students, is in the library.
The students, along with their professor, are in the library.
The anatomy books, together with the corresponding instructor’s guide, look brand new.
The instructor’s guide, together with the corresponding anatomy books, looks brand new.
Exercise: The phrases in the first column are subjects, and the phrases in the second column are verbs plus objects or prepositional phrases. Match the second column of verb phrases with their corresponding subjects. One answer will not be used. The first one has been done for you.
|c||1. The committee members, along with the company president,||a. want to change musical style.|
|2. Some of the more recent history books||b. is eligible to become president.|
|3. None of the storm victims||c. are evaluating the annual report.|
|4. Either the romantic comedies or the action film||d. is excited about the performance.|
|5. Everyone in the modern dance class||e. discuss oppression of Native Americans.|
|6. Two-thirds of the band members||f. are going to win the movie award.|
|7. Anyone born in the United States||g. is going to get government aid.|
|8. Half of the class||h. is scheduled to be shown on TV tonight.|
|i. isn’t ready for the exam.|