a feat of strength that I had given up hope on

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Senior Member

As the writer Helen Andrews remarked, while our society runs shrieking from the language of sin, it still listens to the language of addiction, even though they are closely related. In Christianity, after all, original sin is the ultimate addiction, one you need to admit your powerlessness over and rely on a higher power to defeat. And in Christianity, this paradox applies to God himself, who defeated the powers of sin and death precisely by becoming powerless himself, by dying the death of a slave on the cross.
Only once I admitted my own weakness was I able to accomplish a feat of strength that I had given up hope on.

(This comes from theweek.com The key to quitting smoking? Stop trying so hard by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry on June 4, 2015.)

Does the blue part modify "feat" or "strength"?
I feel it modify "feat", but I'm not sure.

Thanks in advance!
  • SevenDays

    Senior Member
    The part in blue is a relative clause, and it modifies a noun phrase. Try replacing "that" with its antecedent and you'll see that you need a full noun phrase, not just the "head" noun:

    I had given up hope on that =
    I had given up hope on a feat
    I had given up hope on a feat of strength
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