Express your ideas clearly and accurately. Don’t be put off by the grammatical terms, but rather focus on the ways you can correct your mistakes in grammar.
Parallelism is the use of similar structure in related words, clauses, or phrases. It creates a sense of rhythm and balance within a sentence. As readers, we often correct faulty parallelism—a lack of parallel structure—intuitively because an unbalanced sentence sounds awkward and poorly constructed.
All of these sentences contain faulty parallelism. Although they are factually correct, the construction is clunky and confusing. Read the following sentences aloud:
Sam had to iron, do the washing, and shopping before his parents arrived.
In the first example, the sentence contains faulty parallelism because three different verb forms are used instead of the same form for each part of the sentence.
Sam had to do the ironing, washing, and shopping before his parents arrived.
This sentence has correct parallelism.
Driving a car requires coordination, patience, and to have good eyesight.
In this example, the sentence contains faulty parallelism because the writer begins the sentence by using nouns (coordination and patience), but ends with a phrase (to have good eyesight).
Driving a car requires coordination, patience, and good eyesight.
This sentence has correct parallelism:
Ali prefers jeans to wearing a suit.
In this example, the sentence contains faulty parallelism because the writer begins the sentence by using a noun (jeans), but ends with a phrase (wearing a suit).
Ali prefers wearing jeans to wearing a suit.
Now read the same sentence with correct parallelism:
"A simple way to check for parallelism in your writing is to make sure you have paired nouns with nouns, verbs with verbs, prepositional phrases with prepositional phrases, and so on."
Correct the following sentences if necessary.Activity
This work includes material from the following sources:
Lardbucket. (n.d.) English for business success. Parallelism. Retrieved from http://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/english-for-business-success/s10-03-parallelism.html Licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license