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Parallel Structure

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by

Sam Pallis

on 20 April 2013

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Transcript of Parallel Structure

PARALLEL STRUCTURE There are five basic rules for using Parallel Structure correctly. Fill in these rules on your handout as we discuss this. Parallel structure refers to when the same grammatical form is used to balance two or more ideas. This can occur at the word, phrase, or clause level. Rule #1: Your sentence must have
parallel structure if it contains a coordinating conjunction (like 'or,' 'and,'
or 'but'). They are strange but likeable.
We need professionalism and creativity.
I don't know who she is or what she wants. In each of those sentences, the same form is found on both sides of the coordinating conjunction. strange + likeable = two adjectives

professionalism + creativity = two nouns

who she is + what she wants = two subordinate clauses FAULTY PARALLELISM using Coordinating Conjunctions An error when two or more parts of the sentence are parallel in meaning but not in form. I like dancing, singing, and to play the piano. This sentence is an example of faulty parallel structure because "to play the piano" does not have the same form as "dancing" and "singing." Rule #2:
Use Parallel Structure with Items in Lists or Series. Series of words:
Gus likes fluffy toys, puppy food, and long naps.

Series of infinitives:
There was no opportunity to do my homework, to request extra time, or to explain my problem. Correct Parallelism
with Items in a Series Series of prepositional phrases:
He found the auto parts in the garage, in the
basement, but not in the yard.

Series of clauses:
The company does not care who you are,
how you got here, or why you have come. Faulty Parallelism
with Items in a Series The frustrated customer wanted to
exchange the article, to obtain a refund,
or to speak with the manager. The frustrated customer wanted
to exchange the article, to obtain a
refund, or she wanted to speak with
the manager. Rule #3:
Use Parallel Structure When Making Comparisons. When we compare things, we often use words such as more, less, better, and worse. We connect the items being compared with words like as and than. Driving to New York can actually take
less time than flying there.

How you live your live is just as important
as how much money you make. Faulty Parallelism
when making comparisons. I like swimming better than to dive. Correct Parallelism I like to swim better than to dive.

I like swimming better than diving. Rule #2 continued Rule # 4:
Use Parallel Structure with elements are joined by a linking verb or verb of being. What you see is what you get.

To know Gus is to love Gus.

I like dancing, singing, and playing the piano.

I like to dance, to sing, and to play the piano. Faulty Parallelism
with a linking verb: To succeed is graduating from high school. Corrections: To succeed is to graduate from high school

Succeeding is graduating from high school. Rule #5:
Use Parallel Structure with Elements Joined by a Correlative Conjunction The major correlative conjunctions (which always work in pairs):

either/or neither/nor both/and not only/but also Examples with
either/or or neither/nor We were told to either reduce the staff or find new customers.

Agnes was neither going to classes nor doing her assignments. Examples with both/and and not only/but also I would like both to buy both a new house and a new car.

Sam hoped not only to visit France but to live there. Faulty Parallelism with Comparisons You are either for us or you are against us.

Mary is neither a Democrat nor is she a Republican.

The show is both enjoyable and it is enjoyable.

The author not only wants fame but also money. Corrected: You are either for us or against us.
Either you are for us or you are against us.

Mary is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Corrected: The show is both enjoyable and educational.

The author not only wants fame but also wants money.

The author wants not only fame but also money. Here's a paragraph that has parallel structure problems. Try to make corrections! The boy went to the store to buy a video game, a controller, and he wanted to get some headphones. He decided to ride his bicycle and was planning to wear his new sweatshirt. He would either have to ride his bike or he could walk. He was going to ride his bike because he knew it would take less time to ride than it would if he walked. However, he ended up walking and he wore his coat because his bike had a flat tire and he had a rip in his sweatshirt. Corrections: Questions anyone??
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