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Parallel Structure Parallel Structure means using the same pattern of words to show that two or
Parallel Structure
Parallel Structure means using the same
pattern of words to show that two or more
ideas have the same level of importance.
This can happen at three levels:
Word
Phrase
Clause

What is Parallel Structure?

What is Parallel Structure?  Parallel structure involves putting together elements of similar structure to achieve
  • Parallel structure involves putting together elements of similar structure to achieve balanced writing

  • Winston Churchill did not say

  • I have nothing to offer but bleeding, toil, tears, and

sweating

  • He said

  • I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat

  • Churchill understood parallelism

 
Poor: Betty has intelligence, honesty, and she is funny Improved : Betty has intelligence, honesty, and

Poor: Betty has intelligence, honesty, and she is funny Improved: Betty has intelligence, honesty, and she is funny humour Poor: Good writing requires you to plan outlines, write several drafts, and revision Improved: Good writing requires you to plan outlines, write several drafts, and revision revise your work

 

Items in a series must have parallel structure.

Items in a series must have parallel structure.
 
Parallelism looks like this:
Parallelism looks like this:
Shane
Shane
,
,
, and
, and
, , and .
.
.
Shane
Shane
,
,
, and
, and
.
.
 
Here is an example: Shane ate the pizza, wiped his lips, and burped with contentment. Ate
Here is an example:
Shane ate the pizza, wiped his lips, and
burped with contentment.
Ate = past tense verb;
wiped = past tense
verb; and burped =
past tense verb.

Don’t create problems by mixing grammatical

elements.

elements.
 
Non-parallel structure looks like this:
Non-parallel structure looks like this:
Shane
Shane
,
,
, and
, and
.
.
Shane
Shane
,
,
, and
, and
.
.
 

The problem looks like this:

The problem looks like this:
 
Shane ate the pizza, wiped his lips, and burping with contentment.
Shane ate the pizza, wiped his lips, and
burping with contentment.
Now look what you’ve done! Ate and wiped = past tense verbs, but burping = present
Now look what you’ve
done! Ate and wiped
= past tense verbs, but
burping = present
participle!
 
Words and Phrases Incorrect: Mary likes hiking, swimming, and to ride a bicycle. Correct: Mary likes
Words and Phrases
Incorrect:
Mary likes hiking, swimming, and to ride a
bicycle.
Correct:
Mary likes hiking, swimming, and riding a
bicycle.
More Examples: Words & Phrases Incorrect: The production manager was asked to write his report quickly,
More Examples: Words & Phrases
Incorrect:
The production manager was asked to write his
report quickly, accurately, and in a detailed
manner.
Correct:
The production manager was asked to
write his report quickly, accurately, and
thoroughly.
Examples continued: Incorrect: Angry ants, munched the marshmallows, crumbling coffeecake, and sipping syrup, headed off across
Examples continued:
Incorrect:
Angry ants, munched the marshmallows,
crumbling coffeecake, and sipping syrup,
headed off across the countertop.
Correct:
Angry ants, munching marshmallows,
crumbling coffeecake, and sipping syrup,
headed off across the countertop.
Clauses Parallel structure that begins with clauses must continue on with clauses. Incorrect: The coach told
Clauses
Parallel structure that begins with clauses
must continue on with clauses.
Incorrect:
The coach told the players that they should get a lot of
sleep, that they should not eat too much, and to do some
warm-up exercises before the game.
Correct:
The coach told the players that they should get a lot of
sleep, that they should not eat too much, and that they
should do some warm-up exercises before the game
Lists after a colon Incorrect: The dictionary can be used for these purposes: to find word
Lists after a colon
Incorrect:
The dictionary can be used for these purposes: to
find word meanings, pronunciations, correct
spellings, and looking up irregular verbs.
Correct:
The dictionary can be used for these purposes: to
find word meanings, pronunciations, correct
spellings, and irregular verbs.
Other things to watch for: Use parallel structure with pairs of words or ideas. Examples: Granny’s
Other things to watch for:
Use parallel structure with pairs of words or
ideas.
Examples:
Granny’s method was tried and
true
Man proposes. God disposes.
Use parallel structure on both sides of coordinating conjunctions (and, but, yet, or, nor, for, so)
Use parallel structure on both sides of
coordinating conjunctions
(and, but, yet, or, nor, for, so)
Examples:
She possessed all the wizard’s charm yet none
of the wizard’s insight.
Consult a doctor if your coughing persists or if
your coughing worsens over the weekend.
Correct the sentences with improper parallel structure. Sabrina has wit, charm, and she has an extremely
Correct the sentences with improper
parallel structure.
Sabrina has wit, charm, and she has
an extremely pleasant personality.
Sabrina has wit, charm, and a pleasing
personality.
Continued - In English class, Tashonda learned to read poems critically and she appreciated good prose.
Continued -
In English class, Tashonda learned to
read poems critically and she
appreciated good prose.
In English class, Tashonda learned to read
poems critically and appreciate good prose.
Continued- Coach Espinoza was a brilliant strategist, a caring mentor, and friend. Coach Espinoza was a
Continued-
Coach Espinoza was a brilliant strategist,
a caring mentor, and friend.
Coach Espinoza was a brilliant strategist, a
caring mentor, and a wise friend.
Continued - We found the film repulsive, offensive, and we thought it was embarrassing. We found
Continued -
We found the film repulsive, offensive, and we
thought it was embarrassing.
We found the film repulsive, offensive, and
embarrassing.
Mr. Tran kept his store clean, neat, and he had it
conveniently arranged.
Mr. Tran kept his store clean, neat, and
conveniently arranged.

Which sentence is correct?

Which sentence is correct? A. Barking dogs, kittens that were meowing, and squawking parakeets greet the
 
  • A. Barking dogs, kittens that were meowing, and

squawking

parakeets greet the pet shop visitors.

  • B. Barking dogs, meowing kittens, and squawking

parakeets greet the pet shop visitors.

  • C. Dogs that bark, kittens that meow, and parakeets

squawking greet the pet shop visitors.

 
A. During class, Samuel spent his time flirting with Brittney, eating candy, and doodling on the
  • A. During class, Samuel spent his time flirting with Brittney,

eating candy, and doodling on the assignment sheet.

  • B. During class, Samuel spent his time flirting with Brittney,

he ate candy, and doodling on the assignment sheet.

  • C. During class, Samuel spent his time to flirt with Brittney,

to eat candy, and doodling on the assignment sheet.

 
A. Alex looked everywhere for his math book — under the bed, on his desk, and

A. Alex looked everywhere for his math bookunder the bed, on his desk, and he searched inside the refrigerator.

B. Alex looked everywhere for his math bookviewing under the bed, searching on his desk, and inside the refrigerator.

C. Alex looked everywhere for his math bookunder the bed, on his desk, and inside the refrigerator.

 

Choose the correct word or phrase within the context suggested by the sentence.

Choose the correct word or phrase within the context suggested by the sentence.
 

Pasta boiling in water,

,

and garlic bread baking

in the oven welcomed Francisco as he opened the door.

  • A. simmered tomato sauce in the pan

 
  • B. tomato sauce simmering in the pan

  • C. tomato sauce that simmered in the pan

  • D. saucy tomatoes that were simmering in the pan

 
Karen wished Ray chewed with his mouth closed, for otherwise he was everything she wanted in

Karen wished Ray chewed with his mouth closed, for

otherwise he was everything she wanted in a date; he was

tall, intelligent, and __________.

  • A. he looked good

  • B. being good looking

  • C. one handsome man to look at

  • D. handsome

 
The End-- I love grammar

The End--

I love grammar