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Python, along with its related packages

  • numpy
  • scipy

is / are used to make the statistical analysis.

What should it be, is or are ? I was pretty confident it would be is. But someone more knowledgeable to me made the correction and changed it to are. Thus came the doubt.

It should be similar to the usage of with, I guess.

Hope, this isn't a duplicate. I searched and did not find.

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Perhaps it's not intuitive, but the rule is to treat ', in addition to X, ', ', as well as X, ', ... as parentheticals:

From The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison:

Subjects joined by "and" take plural verbs.

[BUT] Be aware: phrases such as "in addition to," "as well as," and "along with" do not mean [quite] the same thing as "and." When inserted between the subject and the verb, these phrases do not change the number of the subject.

Both Tom and Jane have English 167 papers due on Tuesday.

Tom, as well as Jane, has an English 207 paper due Tuesday.

So: A, along with B and C, is ...

  • yup. Thanx for providing with the source. Gotcha. :) – MycrofD Jun 4 '14 at 6:02
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    Provided A is singular ;) – Helmar Jul 15 '16 at 9:06
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The rule of thumb is to drop out clauses that might cause confusion to show subject, verb agreement

Python, along with its related packages numpy and scipy is / are used to make the statistical analysis.

Drop out the phrase modifying Python....

Python is / are used to make the statistical analysis.

And it is clear that is fits best.

If you left out the along, though,

Python, numpy and scipy is / are used to make the statistical analysis.

Then you can't drop anything and you need to use are due to the three subjects.

  • dropping would make things easy. But I am still 'dropping' things out. If I decide not to 'drop' them, what would be correct? – MycrofD Jun 3 '14 at 18:21
  • In the first case, you drop the clause just to clarify the situation. Once you pick is, then just go back to the original with is used – Oldcat Jun 3 '14 at 18:26
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    But 'along with its related packages numpy and scipy' is not a clause. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 3 '14 at 21:17
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The use of along with in this sentence could be read as if you bound "Python, along with its related packages numpy and scipy" together into a group of undifferentiated members, as one might write "Flour, along with sugar and baking powder, are used to make a cake".

While you may have intended the sentence to emphasize Python's role making the statistical analysis with numpy and scipy taking secondary roles, your colleague may have read the statement as emphasizing the use of all three members of the group, along the lines that Python, numpy, and scipy are used to make the statistical analysis, thus missing the hierarchical relationship among the three that you may have been trying to imply.

Consider a sentence that clarifies that hierarchical relationship, such as Python, enhanced with functions imported from the numpy and scipy modules, is used to make the statistical analysis

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