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COMMON ERRORS:

WHAT IS
PARALLELISM
PARALLELISM
is the presentation of several ideas of equal
importance by putting each of them into the
same kind of grammatical structure. Each of
the ideas is phrased similarly, making for a
flowing continuous sentence
Example
Not parallelism: I like
singing, kayaking, and to
dance.
Parallelism: I like singing,
kayaking, and dancing
–Put nouns with nouns
•Faulty (F): I enjoy basketball
more than playing video
games.
•Correct (C) : I enjoy
basketball more than video
games. √
–Put verbs with verbs (and
use same tense)
•F: On our anniversary, we
ate, danced, and were
singing
•C: On our anniversary, we
ate, danced, and sang.
–Put adjectives with adjectives
•F: My history class was
both interesting and a
challenge.
•C: My history class was both
interesting and challenging.
MISPLACED MODIFIER:
Some modifiers, especially simple modifiers only,

just, nearly, barely — have a bad habit of slipping into


the wrong place in a sentence. (In the sentence below,
what does it mean to "barely kick" something?)

Confusion He barely kicked that ball twenty


yards.

Repair He kicked that ball barely twenty


Work yards.
DANGLING MODIFIER: When we begin a sentence
with a modifying word, phrase, or clause, we must make sure
the next thing that comes along can, in fact, be modified by that
modifier. When a modifier improperly modifies something, it is
called a "dangling modifier." This often happens with
beginning participial phrases, making "dangling participles" an
all too common phenomenon. In the sentence below, we can't
have a car changing its own oil.
Confusion Changing the oil every 3,000 miles, the
car seemed to run better.
Repair Changing the oil every 3,000 miles,
Work Fred found he could get much better
gas mileage.
Squinting Modifier: A third problem in modifier placement is
described as a "squinting modifier." This is an unfortunate result
of an adverb's ability to pop up almost anywhere in a sentence;
structurally, the adverb may function fine, but its meaning can be
obscure or ambiguous. For instance, in the sentence below, do the
students seek advice frequently or can they frequently improve
their grades by seeking advice? You can't tell from that sentence
because the adverb often is "squinting" (you can't tell which way
it's looking). Let's try placing the adverb elsewhere.
Confusion Students who seek their instructors' advice often
can improve their grades.
Repair Work Student who often seek their instructors' advice
can improve their grades.
Repair Work Students who seek their instructors' advice
can often improve their grades.
Ella’s job responsibilities include
____, training, and informing
workers of company policies.
A) to hire
B) hired
C) hire
D) none of the above

hiring is the correct answer


Henry likes pizza more than
_______.

A. Spinach
B) to eat spinach
C) to be eating spinach
D) none of the above
He drove to the store to buy
milk, eggs, and _______.

A) to get bread
B) bread
C) getting bread
D) none of the above
Tom jogs, swims, and _________.

A) he is kick boxing
B) kick boxes
C) he kick boxes
D) none of the above
The film had many stars, used
various special effects, and
________.

A) violence
B) featured graphic violence
C) it was violent
D) none of the above