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Parallelism

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What is Parallelism?

Parallelism or parallel structure is the similar use of grammar in a sentence. A parallel-1sentence must contain similar phrases, clauses, or other items in the sentence.


Example:
• Johanna baked a cake and was eating it.

This sentence is incorrect as all the items used in the sentence are not similar or parallel. The correct sentence should be

• Johanna baked a caked and ate it.




parallel-2Parallel Structure:

In order to avoid repetitive words in writing, parallel structure is used. So the basic rule is all the items in the sentence should be of same grammatical form. So in a sentence the items should be all nouns, all infinitives, all phrases, or all clauses.

Example:
• He enjoys singing, party, and dance with friends.

Here all the words in the sentence are not the same. All the words in the list should be in -ing form. So the sentence is incorrect. The correct sentence should be: 


Example:
• He enjoys singing, partying, and dancing with friends.


 

Examples of Parallelism

Some of the examples of parallelism are as follows:


Example:

• Lina likes to read, writing, and draw pictures.

All the items in the sentence are not in the correct pattern. The correct pattern should be:

• Lina likes to read, write, and draw pictures.


Example:

• The teacher told the boys that they should study in the morning, to sleep in the afternoon, and that they should play in the evening.

All the items are not correct as the pattern has been changed. The pattern should be

• The teacher told the boys that they should study in the morning, that they should sleep in the afternoon, and that they should play in the evening.



Rules of Parallelism


1)COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS:

Parallelism can be used with items that are joined by coordinating conjunctions.

Example:

Incorrect Sentence:
• Tim and what his strength is of great value to Amanda.

Correct Sentence:

• Tim and his strength is of great value to Amanda.


2) ITEMS IN A LIST:

Parallel structure can be used for items in a list.

Example:

Incorrect Sentence:
• The computer serves many purposes:  to find information, words and meanings, and looking up pictures.

Correct Sentence:

 The computer serves many purposes: to find information, words and meanings, and pictures.


3) WHEN ITEMS ARE COMPARED IN A SENTENCE:

Parallel structure can be used when items or elements are compared in a sentence.

Example:

Incorrect Sentence:
• He prefers bowling to bat.

Correct Sentence:

• He prefers bowling to batting.


4) LINKING VERB:

Parallel structure can be used with items joined by linking verbs or verbs of being.

Example:

Incorrect Sentence:

• Being successful is to wealthy.

Correct Sentence:

• Being successful is to being wealthy.



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