Confusing Subject – Verb Agreement

When we use as well as

He as well as you is guilty.

  1. Why “is” and not “are” when there are two persons mentioned – he and you?
  1. After the pronoun “you”, shouldn’t it be “are”?

Confused

In the sentence

“He as well as you is guilty”,

“he” and “you” are not equally important and so are not coordinated subjects.

The subject of the sentence is only “he”.

“You” is an addition introduced by the phrase as well as after the subject.

The verb agrees with the subject “he” and is therefore singular (“is”).

If “he” and “you” are of equal importance in the sentence, the coordinating conjunction and would be used, and they would both be subjects in the sentence, which will then read:

 “He and you are guilty.”

There are several other phrases that introduce such an addition to the subject of a sentence,

among them:

together with”, in addition to”, along with”.

Examples:

  1. The new president, together with his wife and children, is coming here for an official visit.
  2. This bed sheet, along with the pillow cases, costs a hundred ringgit.
  3. Your dictionary, in addition to your English textbooks, is going to help you learn the language well.
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