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You, the employer, contribute the most.

You, the employer, contributes the most.

which one would be correct?

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closed as general reference by Kit Z. Fox, Matt E. Эллен, Robusto, simchona, kiamlaluno May 22 '12 at 20:09

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is very basic. Please check a grammar book for simple present tense verb conjugation. – Matt E. Эллен May 21 '12 at 17:46
sorry updated the question – Peter May 21 '12 at 17:47
It may be basic, but appositives are usually not covered. The first one is the correct one. – John Lawler May 21 '12 at 17:53
And languages differ in how they handle them, so that it doesn't fall out of basic universal principles such as subject-verb agreement. – Neil Coffey May 21 '12 at 19:41

The part of the sentence offset by commas (the employer) is called an appositive. It gives information about the word "you", but does not take its place as the subject. The word "you" is still the one with which the verb must agree. Hence, the correct choice is the first sentence,

You, the employer, contribute the most.

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