In this sentence should I use make or makes?

Massive scale, along with rapid growth make/makes it different.


2 Answers 2


You should use "makes". The phrase "along with rapid growth" is parenthetical. If the sentence were
"Massive scale and rapid growth make it different.", then the subject would be plural, but in your sentence it's singular.

Stack Exchange ELU "plural or singular subject"
(The answer marked "Short Answer")

The Subject of the sentence is the noun phrase The earthquake. The preposition phrase along with its aftershocks is not integrated into the Subject. It is parenthetical.


While the words refer to a situation where massive scale and rapid growth are both performing the action, grammatically speaking, the use of the preposition "with" as opposed to a conjunction means that "along with rapid growth" functions as an adverb. It modifies the manner in which massive scale makes it different. This can be compared to

"Alice and Bob walk to school."


"Alice walks to school with Bob."

The first sentence refers to an action performed by two people, and so takes a plural verb. While the second sentence has the same situation, the grammatical structure is such that only Alice is worded as performing the structure. Even though Bob is walking to school, he isn't directly said to be walking to school, and so as far as his role in the sentence is concerned, he is not part of the subject.

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