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I have this sentence:

The thought of her commotion, and the hope that the neighbors heard her, gives her enough strength to push the door open.

Is the singular verb gives correct here? I ask because the second subject is expressed parenthetically, between commas.

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Gives refers back to the thought and has nothing to do with the parenthetical. Do not add the parenthetical to the grammatical number of the verb. HTH.

The thought of her commotion, and the the hope that the neighbors heard her, gives her enough strength to push the door open.

The parenthetical ought to be ignored for grammar.

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The best way to rewrite this sentence, which seems to be a bit droopy in syntax, is:

"The strong belief she had had in the brouhaha she had made, and it's capability to have had ensured the neighbours heard her, gave her enough strength to push the door open."

Of course, this sounds very awkward as well, so here's another alternative:

"Her belief in having successfully alerted the neighbours due to the commotion she made, gave her enough strength to push the door open."

Then again, this not a sentence which feels nice to read out. More context would be beneficial to appropriately rephrase the sentence you've provided.

  • Or The idea she had made enough noise to alert the neighbours, galvanised in her enough strength to push the door open. – WS2 Jul 2 '15 at 7:29
  • Or something along the lines of 'invigorated her' or 'impelled her', yes. – Kugelblitz Jul 2 '15 at 7:33

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