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# Parallel Structure

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on 15 October 2014

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#### Transcript of Parallel Structure

Parallel Structure
Parallel Structure
When we join a list of two or more things in a sentence with and, but, or or, we need to make sure that the elements in the list are parallel. Parallel, in this sense, means balanced or equal.
The function of the elements must also be parallel. For example, you can join physical description to physical description, but you generally cannot join physical description to feelings.

Parallel:
 You can get cell phones in
red
,
blue
,
green
, and
black
. (all are colors)
 Maria
likes milk
,
loves tea
, and
hates coffee
. (all describe emotions about food)
Parallel:
 He is
tired
,
lonely
, and
hungry

 He took
a

book
,
a pen
and,
. (nouns are joined to nouns)
Solving Parallelism Problems
Sometimes it can be hard to put items into a parallel list. Here are some strategies to deal with such difficult situations.
He is kind, friendly and intelligently.

Not Parallel (Faulty Structure):
 He is
tired
,
lonely
, and
in a hurry.
(tired and lonely are adjectives, but in a hurry is a prepositional phrase)

 He took
a book
,
a pen
, and
wrote
. (book and pen are nouns, but wrote is a verb.)
Not Parallel:
 You can get cell phones in
red
,
blue
,
shiny
, and
black
.
 Maria
likes milk
,
loves tea
,
hates coffee
, and
sings love songs
.
You can join nouns to nouns, adjectives to adjectives, prepositional phrases to prepositional phrases, or clauses to clauses, but you cannot join nouns to adjectives, or phrases to clauses.
Words
Phrases
Clauses
Strategy 1: Change parts of speech
Strategy 2: Create multiple parallelisms
This strategy involves making more than one parallel list in a sentence. Let’s say you want to combine the following sentences into one.
 He is tall.
 He has red hair.
 He is handsome.
 He has green eyes.
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