Suppose I had a sentence of the following form:

"Peter (and many of his other friends) has an apple."

I, personally, believe it is more 'correct' to say have. Is it more correct to say 'have' even though the subject is only one person? Is it the same if 'presumably' is inserted before the word 'many'?

  • The sentence should be grammatical without considering the parenthetical. If it is also grammatical with the parenthetical included, much the better, but not required. – Kris Oct 1 '16 at 8:40
  • A rephrasing suggestion is not answer; so this is just a comment. "Peter (and many a friend of his) has an apple." – Kris Oct 1 '16 at 8:42
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    This becomes a silly exercise in trying to observe 'rules' that become unwieldy in many cases. 'A parenthetical is a string that if omitted always leaves a matrix sentence acceptable in every way' is not quite accurate and certainly begs the question, as has been discussed here before. See for example a/an preceding a parenthetical statement. And why should << Peter and his friends are here. >> need different agreement from << Peter – and his friends – is here. >>? ... – Edwin Ashworth Oct 1 '16 at 9:31
  • The dashes are enough to add emphasis to the parenthetical. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 1 '16 at 9:32
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    Because punctuation is an orthographic artifact only, you need to ask yourself what would sound grammatical spoken aloud and absent all punctuation. – tchrist Oct 1 '16 at 16:46

It's a bit clumsy even if it's grammatically correct (which I can't give an opinion on). I would avoid the dilemma of whether to use has or have by reordering the sentence:

Peter has an apple, as do many of his friends.

There's nothing wrong with bracketed phrases, but it will help you to improve your English if you spend a little time on thinking about how you can get rid of them.

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