- Slides: 8
PARALLELISM Parallelism refers to the use of grammatically equal elements in sentences and paragraphs. Parallelism can be viewed as a matter of balance. When elements are balanced (parallel), the result is clear and smooth; when they are not balanced, the result is awkward and confusing.
RULES For parallel structure, balance nouns with nouns, prepositional phrases with prepositional phrases, participles with participles, infinitives with infinitives, clauses with clauses. Not parallel: Our report covers the details of the plan and how much it costs. Parallel: Our report covers the details of the plan and its costs.
To emphasize and clarify parallel structure, repeat a preposition, an article, the to in an infinitive, or the introductory word of a phrase or clause: > The problem lies not in the plan itself but in the method of execution. > We are pleased that you have accepted our proposal and that you will be working with us on this important project. > We are writing to clarify our position, to prevent possible misunderstandings, and to establish a foundation for cooperation.
Use parallel structure with correlatives: either. . . or; neither. . . nor; not only. . . but also; whether. . . or; both. . . and. Not parallel: Whether at home or when at work, he was always busy. Parallel: Whether at home or at work, he was always busy. Not parallel: This is not only unclear but it is wordy as well. Parallel: This is not only unclear but also wordy.
Parallelism is also necessary in lists. The following list, for example, is NOT parallel. The objectives of this course are: > To review the rules of grammar. > Examining methods of developing essays. > How to do a research paper. The objectives of this course are as follows: > To review the rules of grammar. > To examine methods of developing essays. > To learn how to do a research paper.
PRACTICE: CORRECT THE FOLLOWING. 1. Phuong Tran has wit, charm, and she has an extremely pleasant personality. 2. We must either raise revenues or it will be necessary to reduce expenses. 3. Examples of aerobic exercises are distance running, swimming, cycling, and long walks. 4. Annie's dress was old, faded, and it had wrinkles. 5. Consuming too much of a fat-soluble vitamin can be as harmful as not to consume enough.
ANSWERS 1. 2. 3. Phuong Tran has wit, charm, and a pleasant personality. We must either raise revenues or reduce expenses. Examples of aerobic exercises are distance running, swimming, cycling, and walking. 4. Annie's dress was old, faded, and wrinkled. 5. Consuming too much of a fat-soluble vitamin can be as harmful as not consuming enough.