In a previous Tip of the Day, we learned that a compound subject (two singular nouns with “and” between them) takes a plural verb.
Well A and Well B are ready for hookup to the manifold.
What if we change “and” to “along with” or “in addition to” or “in conjunction with”?
Do we still use a plural verb?
The surprising answer is: No.
The explanation about this comes from Anshul Malik – an Engineer’s angle:
Modifiers do not affect the central subject’s number. Phrases which show the idea of
togetherness, such as ”as well as,” “together with,” “along with,” “in conjunction with,” “coupled with,” etc., always introduce a modifier and not another subject. These phrases are NOT synonymous with “and.” They do not have any impact on the subject or verb.
e.g.: The father along with his children is coming.
Here the only subject is “father” and hence the verb used is singular; “along with his children” is just a modifier.
OK, so knowing that, let’s look at the following sentence.
This theory along with a lookup table [enable/enables] the user to model permeability.
The answer would be “enables” because “the theory” is a singular subject and “along with a lookup table” is a modifier of that subject. If you diagrammed this sentence, “lookup table” would be downstairs from “theory” and not on the same line next to the verb; therefore the verb would have to agree with only “theory.”
BTW, did you notice that “lookup” table was not hyphenated? See my previous post for other –up words that are not yphenated:
Profound Quote of the Day:
“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.
We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights activist, 1929-1968