Grammar rules to write by
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Grammar rules to write by. Parallel Structure. What it means. Using parallel structure means using the same grammatical form to express two or more equal, or parallel ideas. Example Incorrect: Amanda’s favorite forms of exercise are swimming and to run.

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Grammar rules to write by

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Grammar rules to write by

Grammar rules to write by

Parallel Structure


What it means

What it means

  • Using parallel structure means using the same grammatical form to express two or more equal, or parallel ideas.

    • Example

      • Incorrect: Amanda’s favorite forms of exercise are swimming and to run.

      • Correct: Amanda’s favorite forms of exercise are swimming and running.


Using parallel structure

Using parallel structure

  • When comparing and contrasting ideas

    • Example:

      • Incorrect: Reading novels no longer interests me as much as to read poems.

      • Correct: Reading novels no longer interests me as much as reading poems.

  • When you link ideas with correlative conjunctions (both … and, either … or, neither … nor, and not only … but also)

    • Example:

      • Incorrect: The medicine woman was revered not only for her healing abilities but also because she possessed wisdom.

      • Correct: The medicine woman was revered not only for her healing abilities but also for her wisdom.


Using parallel structure1

Using parallel structure

  • To avoid awkwardness and confusion, place correlative conjunctions directly before the parallel terms.

  • Example:

    • Incorrect: Shawna considered both pursuing careers in law and in journalism.

    • Correct: Shawna considered pursuing careers both in law and in journalism.


Using parallel structure2

Using parallel structure

  • You will often need to repeat an article, a preposition, or a pronoun before each each of the parallel terms to make your meaning clear.

    • Example:

      • Incorrect: Before leaving the store, I talked to the clerk and manager.

      • Correct: Before leaving the store, I talked to the clerk and the manager.

  • To clarify your meaning, you will often need to add a few words to the second part of the sentence.

    • Example:

      • Incorrect: I enjoyed the singing of the opera’s soprano more than the tenor.

      • Correct: I enjoyed the singing of the opera’s soprano more than that of the tenor.


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