Which of the following versions of a sentence, if either, is less standard or accepted?:

  • My fortune, and indeed my virtue, stands on my convictions.

  • My fortune, and indeed my virtue, stand on my convictions.

Does the verb take the singular, as though the subordinate and clause were absent, or the plural, as though the clause were not parenthetical?

  • I'm not saying the first sentence is good grammar, but with the commas and "indeed", it rings perfectly natural. The reverse goes for the second.
    – gotube
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 5:42

1 Answer 1


If the part between the commas is truly intended to be parenthetical, you can use "stands". If however you intend the "parenthetical" phrase to add to the subject, then it would make the subject plural, and you should use "stand".

Do you consider the part "and my virtue" to be optional? Could a reader reasonably omit it? Would you be happy to use ( ) instead of commas. These would point to using "stands". But if your reader is expected to include the "and my virtue", if it is essential to your sentence. If you'd be happy to rephrase without commas, then that points to using "stand".

So do you mean

My fortune (and my virtue) stands on my convictions.


My fortune and virtue stand on my convictions.

  • Yes, I see the distinction. Often for complex sentences, a parenthetic form presents as clearer, due to the ability of commas to separate clauses whose boundaries are otherwise obscure, even if overall the intention of the sentence is not to give the parenthetical part a lower importance.
    – brainchild
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 21:00

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