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Parallel Sentence Structure
Transcript of Parallel Sentence Structure
- Note how the following mix gerunds and infinitives...
The villagers like baking, songwriting, and to race each other.
People around here don't seem to like to hunt, camp, or fishing.
- The following fail to use the proper clauses.
According to the teacher, the students should study for tests, they should be polite, and do their homework.
The organizer promised that there would be chairs, that there would be snacks, and coffee.
Special Case: Clauses
- Clauses must be kept consistent too, in order to maintain proper parallel structure.
The editor argued against the use of chemical weapons, the use of landmines, and the use of bio-weapons.
Politicians have a tendency to pander to their donors, to their parties, and to their own bank accounts.
- With Gerunds ("-ing's")...
In California, many tourists enjoy swimming, surfing, and tanning.
Many careers will require one to be skilled at thinking, listening, and following orders.
- With Infinitive Phrases...
In Colorado, many tourists like to hike, to ski, and to see the mountainous landscapes.
The old steam engine tends to chug, puff, and cough up black smoke when it encounters rough conditions.
Parallel Sentence Structure
- Parallel sentence structure (also called "parallelism") is when a writer uses similar grammatical structure to express multiple ideas.
- Parallelism must utilize conjunctions such as "and" and "or" in order to properly function.
- Parallelism makes a sentence memorable and professional, and failing to use it is painful for the reader.
Special Case: Colons
- It is vital to keep lists after colons parallel; otherwise the reader will be thrown off.
There are four main reasons computers were created: for input, output, processing, and storage.
Companies outsource jobs for several reasons: cheap labour, higher margins, and more competitive pricing.
Special Case: Antithetical Constructions
- Antithetical Construction: Something is true of one thing, but not true of another.
They use "But not" and "Rather than."
- Parallelism is useful here, because it makes the difference clearer.
The president approved the reforms to the healthcare system, but not the tax cuts.
is Pink Floyd's best album, rather than
Wish You Were Here
Special Case: Correlative Conjunctions
- Correlative conjunctions link balanced words and phrases.
Ex: Both ... And, Not only ... Also, etc.
- These are excellent examples of parallel structure at work, for without it, they would fail to function at all.
The wall was neither hard nor pretty.
The commissioner not only stopped the investigation, but also the rest of the case.
Special Case: Verbs
- Verbs must maintain the same tense in a sentence.
- For Example...
The cat scratched her post, then hopped on top of it shortly after.
They have produced quality work in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.
The Non-Examples Strike Back
- Take note of how the following clauses do not follow a proper pattern...
The chef said that a good dish should smell good, taste, good, and do clients a service by being ingested.
He claimed he would see colourful birds, he would see massive reptiles, and look at the mountains.
- See how the following butcher a list after a colon...
There are only three requirements: a strong mind, a distaste for rules, and to do considerable amounts of math.
This manual contians sections on the following: construction, repair, and on making modifications.
Return of The Non-Examples
- The following correlative conjunctions use the wrong structures...
The runner enjoyed not only the weather, and the climate.
He said he would either do it but also die trying.
- These sentences contain verbs that switch tense...
He wrote his speech and it was delivered by him.
The T-Rex attacked the smaller creature, and was eating it.
- These antithetical constructions are worded improperly...
They agreed article one, but also articles five and seven.
The blacksmith decided to sharpen the sword, rather than shine it.
"Welcome to the Purdue OWL." Purdue OWL: Parallel Structure. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
"Parallel Sentence Structures." Parallel Sentence Structures. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
"Parallel Structure Examples." Parallel Structure Examples. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
"Correlative Conjunction." About.com Grammar & Composition. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.