Parallel Structure

Parallel Structure

The use of same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance is called parallel structure. This may occur at the word level, phrase level, or clause level. Parallel structures is commonly joined with the use of conjunctions, such as “and” or “or.”

Text showing parallel structure

For example:

With the -ing form of words (Gerund):

Not Parallel: Allen likes jogging, hiking, and to sing.

Parallel: Allen likes jogging, hiking, and singing.

With infinitive phrases:

Not Parallel: Allen likes to jog, to hike, and singing.

Parallel: Allen likes to jog, to hike, and to sing.

OR

Allen likes to jog, hike, and sing..

Not Parallel: The Writing Guru was asked to write the description quickly, accurately, and in a detailed manner.

Parallel: The Writing Guru was asked to write the description quickly, accurately, and thoroughly.

Not Parallel: The Director admitted that he was a poor student because he wasted his time, bunked his classes, and his interest in studies was low.

Parallel: The Director admitted that he was a poor student because he wasted his time, bunked his classes, and lacked interest in his studies.

Clauses

A parallel structure that begins with clauses must go on with clauses. Thus using another pattern or changing the verb from active to passive or vice versa, will break the parallelism. For example:

Not Parallel: The ewriter29 told the trainees that they should have a lot of vocabulary, that they should use short sentences, and to prefer active voice instead of passive voice.

Parallel: The ewriter29 told the trainees that they should have a lot of vocabulary, that they should use short sentences, and that they should prefer active voice instead of passive voice.

— OR —

The ewriter29 told the trainees that they should have a lot of vocabulary, use short sentences, and prefer active voice instead of passive voice.

Not Parallel: The scholar expected that he would present his idea at the meeting, that there would be time for him to show his slide presentation, and that questions would be asked by external supervisor. (Passive)

Parallel: The scholar expected that he would present his idea at the meeting, that there would be time for him to show his slide presentation, and that the external supervisor will ask him questions.

Lists after a Colon

Likewise, when you write something in the form of a list, make sure you keep all the elements in a list in the same form.

Not Parallel: The dictionary is used for these purposes: to look up pronunciations, word meanings, correct spellings, and searching irregular verbs.

Parallel: The dictionary is used for these purposes: to look up pronunciations, word meanings, correct spellings, and irregular verbs.

Relevant Post

Parts of Speech

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  1. Ameer Hamza Nawaz BSSE 1 B

    Gerund Examples…. 1) The old man was tired of walking. 2) I was trying to Get 4 GPA in 1st semister

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