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Writing - Parallel Structure
Transcript of Writing - Parallel Structure
If we are to survive, if we are to have even the hope of surviving, we must end the nuclear race, and we must end it now. Whenever a sentence contains two or more similar elements, these elements must be kept parallel, no matter how small they are. Not: She liked baseball, parties, and going to the mall.
But: She liked baseball, parties, and the mall. Not: He was lazy, good-humored, likeable, and sort of a crook.
But: He was lazy, good-humored, likeable, and slightly crooked. Not: She walked steadily and in a big hurry.
But: She walked steadily and swiftly. Not: She combed her hair, powdered her nose, and her lipstick was checked.
But: She combed her hair, powdered her nose, and checked her lipstick. Not: Either I'm always in debt or in trouble.
But: Either I'm always in debt or I'm always in trouble. Not: She is the kind of woman who will neither change her mind nor her hair style.
But: She is the kind of woman who will change neither her mind nor her hair style. The easiest way to do these ones is to stop after either or neither and check for balance on each side of "or" or "nor." She could be neither.... kind nor cruel.
I'm always either... in debt or in trouble. After he entered college he realized clearly, first, that he should have worked harder in high school; second, that he would have to work hard now to keep up; and third, that he could succeed only by learning self-discipline. If you repeat an article or a preposition once, repeat it every time--or not at all. The simpler parallels will keep you from making simple mistakes. The larger and more complex parallels will allow you to take your writing to a higher level.