Has or Have after “X Along With Y”? (Singular or Plural)

When you study English grammar, you’ll learn about different phrases like prepositional phrases. Sometimes, these are what make things a tad bit more complicated especially in plurality rules. Like, when you say ‘Shiela, along with her friends,’ do we say ‘is’ or ‘are’ after? Let’s see and find out!

Has or Have after ‘X Along With Y?’

In ‘X along with Y,’ it depends on the plurality of X. X is our subject, and following the subject-verb agreement rule, if the noun is singular, the verb is singular, and the same parallelism for plural. So, if X is singular, we use ‘has,’ if plural, we use ‘have.’

has or have after along with

Let’s first establish the roles and different parts of our sentence. We can divide ‘X, along with Y’ into two parts. One is the subject which is ‘X’ and the other is the prepositional phrase ‘along with Y.’ ‘Along with Y’ is considered a prepositional phrase because it is preceded by the preposition ‘along’ and it modifies the subject, X.

X is our subject or the noun being talked about in the sentence. It’s essential to note that a prepositional phrase is never part of the subject. It is simply a modifier to the subject, X. So, when talking about the subject we only consider X.

The same process is followed in establishing the subject-verb agreement. Our subject is only X, and so the verb only needs to agree with X. Regardless of whether ‘Y’ is singular or plural, if X is singular, the verb that we use is singular. If X is plural, the verb we use is plural.

Below are examples of the correct usage of has/have after ‘X along with Y.’

  1. My friends, along with my family, have celebrated my 18th birthday.
  2. Brena, along with her mom, has finished her monthly checkup.
  3. My classmates, along with our teachers, have created a fun experiment.
  4. Gray, along with Mika, has launched his own business.
  5. Martha, along with her pets, has gone to the grooming center.
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Was or Were after ‘X Along With Y?’

Like the rule for has/have, we continue to follow the plurality of ‘X.’ Since ‘along with Y’ is simply a prepositional phrase, we only consider the plurality of X. If X is singular, we use ‘was’ after ‘X along with Y.’ If X is plural, we use ‘were’ instead.

Let me introduce the difference between logical equivalence and grammatical equivalence. For example, saying ‘Shelby, along with her friends’ in logical equivalence also means Shelby and her friends which may lead us to believe that the subject includes Shelby and her friends, which makes the subject plural.

However, this is different from grammatical equivalence as ‘Shelby, along with her friends,’ is grammatically equivalent to Shelby, and mentioned as a side note that her friends are involved. In this sense, only Shelby is really the subject, making the subject singular. In constructing sentences, we follow this grammatical equivalence.

Below are examples of the correct usage of was/were after ‘X along with Y.’

  1. Tracy, along with her classmates, was playing out in the rain.
  2. My parents, along with me, were eating barbeque yesterday.
  3. Belle, along with Henry, was washing the car a while ago.
  4. Mary, along with her friends, was baking cookies last night.
  5. My classmates, along with our teacher, were having a discussion last week.

Is or Are after ‘X Along With Y?’

In determining whether to use ‘is’ or ‘are’ after ‘X along with Y,’ we simply follow the plurality of X. ‘Along with Y’ is a prepositional phrase, and we don’t need to mind it when talking about plurality. If X is singular, we use ‘is.’ If plural, we use ‘are.’

Below are examples of the correct usage of is/are after ‘X along with Y.’

  1. Trina, along with JC, is going to study at Harvard.
  2. My classmates, along with our teacher, are going on a field trip tomorrow.
  3. Betty, along with Archie, is playing archery right now.
  4. Casey, along with his dogs, is taking a walk.
  5. My friends, along with their parents, are attending my birthday party.

Is ‘Along With’ Singular?

‘Along with’ is neither singular nor plural. It is simply a prepositional phrase that does not have a particular plurality. For this same reason, we do not count the phrase ‘along with Y’ when taking note of the plurality of ‘X along with Y.’

Final Thoughts

In dealing with the plurality of ‘X along with Y,’ we simply take note of the plurality of X. ‘Along with Y’ is a prepositional phrase that we do not consider the plurality of. So, if X is singular, we use has/is/was. If X is plural, we use have/are/were.