The Grammarphobia Blog

Missing links?

Q: I am proofing a brochure and came across a wording that keeps bothering me. The brochure refers to outreach programs that link XYZ “and the community,” but I keep wanting to make it “with the community.” Is “and,” as well as “with,” acceptable, or is one preferred?

A: Generally, I think you can use either one, the conjunction “and” or the preposition “with.” But in this case, “with” might better convey the meaning.

It’s the outreach programs that are actively seeking the link, so “with” might be more appropriate. You could also use the preposition “to” here.

It’s a judgment call.

Interestingly, when the subject of a sentence is followed by a noun or noun phrase introduced by “with,” the verb is singular: “The saddle, with the bridle, is in the barn.” But if “and” is used, the verb is plural: “The saddle and the bridle are in the barn.”

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