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X, along with Y, 'were'/'was'

Could someone tell which one is appropriate in the following sentence?

My brother along with his wife was/were present in the party.

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marked as duplicate by jwpat7, coleopterist, David Wallace, MετάEd, FumbleFingers Sep 18 '12 at 16:57

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

"My brother was present at the party" : Singular

"My brother and his wife were present at the party": Plural.

"My brother, along with his wife, was present at the party": Singular.

If you put in the commas to avoid doubt, then 'was' is right. If you use 'along with' as a substitute for 'and' with no commas, then 'were' is probably acceptable but will cause people to wonder, so best to avoid it.

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Along with his wife, my brother ___ at the party. –  Edwin Ashworth Sep 17 '12 at 19:23
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The subject of the sentence is my brother. Along with his wife is an adverbial, telling the reader more about him. It follows that the verb must agree with my brother and be singular. So, My brother along with his wife was present in the party. The verb would, however, be plural if the subject was the coordinated my brother and his wife.

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