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Parallelism

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by

Elizabeth Wiggs

on 9 September 2013

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Transcript of Parallelism

Parallelism
Rule #1: Make your verbs match!

(Parallel) Jessica likes running, swimming and travelling.
(Not Parallel) Jessica likes running, swimming and to travel.

(Parallel) My friends and I went to California for Christmas and spent our time surfing, sunbathing, and hiking.
(Not Parallel) My friends and I went to California for Christmas and spent our time surfing, sunbathing and on hikes.
Rule #2: A good rule of thumb when looking for parallelism is paying close attention to coordinating conjunctions such as and, but, or, nor, for, so, and yet. Coordinating conjunctions are used in listing and therefore can help you spot faulty parallelism.
(Not Parallel) Debbie does not enjoy taking tests or even to attend school.

(Parallel) Debbie does not enjoy taking tests or even attending school.


(Not Parallel) The soccer instructor said that he was a poor team member because he waited until the last minute to kick the ball, completed his training in a careless manner, and his motivation was low.

(Parallel) The soccer instructor said that he was a poor team member because he waited until the last minute to kick the ball, completed his training in a careless manner, and lacked motivation.
Rule #3: Look for colons. Colons usually precede items in a list.
(Not Parallel) His reason for accepting the lowest-paying job offer was simple: he always liked and wants to live in the Houston area.

(Parallel) His reason for accepting the lowest-paying job offer was simple: he always liked and wanted to live in the Houston area.
Rule #4: Parallel structure with correlative conjunctions

Errors in parallel structure often occur with correlative conjunctions: a….as ; either … or; neither … nor; both … and; not only … but also; whether … or ; the more..the more ; if..then.

The grammatical structure following the second half of the correlative should mirror the grammatical structure following the first half.
(parallel: phrase with phrase) The scientists denied not only the news article but also the company’s official statement. (parallel: phrase with phrase)

(faulty parallelism: phrase with clause) The scientists disputed not only the news article but also they disputed the company’s official statement.
Practice time!!
Susie not only needs attention but also many compliments.
The kindergartners are learning to read and writing.
A few precautions can make using a power saw both simple and with safety.
Not only does Sam expect a good return on his investment but also an increase in the stock's value.
Al's new car not only provided a luxurious ride but also superior gas mileage.
Raoul's motivation to succeed in this program seems to be greater than his sister.
Either you will begin to study now or risk failing the exam.
Carlos wasted his first year at college by not studying enough and spending too much time at parties.
Full transcript