Both of the above examples are technically correct. How to identify and repair faulty parallelism Do you have the same type of descriptive clause describing the same thing? In the opening paragraph of this article, the second sentence employs parallel structure correctly. Parallel Structure in a Sentence or Phrase .
The best way to learn what faulty parallelism is — and how to correct it — is to focus on an example. "Faulty Parallelism." Consider the sentence, My first-year philosophy professor was informative, lively, and a source of inspiration. Each of the red words in the examples above is in a different grammatical form than the other words in their respective lists. This sentence suffers from faulty parallelism. Sentence 1 says, “I like noun, noun, and -ing phrase.”. Problems with parallel structure usually occur after coordinating conjunction such as "or" or "and." Correlative conjunctions include terms like “not only…but also,” “either…or,” “neither…nor,” “if…then,” etc. Parallel Structure in a Sentence or Phrase, Examples of Problems with Parallel Structure, Definition and Examples of Parallel Structure, Parallelism in Writing for English Learners, Understanding the Types of Verbs in English Grammar, A Quick Introduction to Mood and Voice in Spanish Verbs, Definition and Examples of Voice in Grammar.
(The donut, the subject, is acted upon by Jane.).
Faulty parallelism is a construction in which two or more parts of a sentence are equivalent in meaning but not grammatically similar in form. Sentence 2 says, “The coach advised that I should: (1) verb; (2) verb; (3) that -ing phrase. By contrast, proper parallelism "is the placement of equal ideas in words, phrases, or clauses of similar types," notes Prentice Hall, an education materials and textbook publisher. This sentence is unbalanced because the infinitive to be quick is not parallel with the clause that they must be.
Most are a result of mixing gerunds and infinitive phrases or mixing active and passive voice. To avoid faulty parallelism, make certain that each element in a series is similar in form and structure to all others in the same series, as this corrected sentence demonstrates: Note that all of the items in the series — engineering management, software development, technical services, and sales — are now all the same because they are all examples of occupations. For example, “This car is built to last.”. By using parallel structure, the writer indicates that all of the items in the list are of equal importance. Running, jumping, and coding are all gerunds. Mary is a celebrated author, dancer, and writes great songs. For example: Active voice: Jane ate the donut. The list below is an example of faulty parallelism. We knew that we had little time, work had to be finished, and we needed to hurry. The Aske Stables, Aske, Richmond, North Yorkshire, U.K. 10F, 205, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2850, ShuBLDG, 2-28-10, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0013, Japan, 01-102, 1F, Building 25, Hanhe Garden, Haidian District, Beijing, China.
The previous sentence is an example of correct parallelism, but more on that below.
Identify any conjunctions or lists in your sentence. If you encounter a sentence that just sounds wrong or clunky, look for conjunctions like and, or, but, and yet to determine whether the sentence is off balance. The verb-object repeats three times. Items 5 and 6, by contrast, are sentence fragments. If it had not, the sentence might have read: In this sentence, the first two items in the series are essentially mini-sentences with the same grammatical structure: a subject (it), and an object or predicate (clangs off the ear and destroys written sentences). The following two sentences correctly use gerunds in parallel structure: The sentence below is incorrect, however, because it mixes gerunds (baking, making) and an infinitive phrase (to eat out): This sentence contains an unparallel mixture of a gerund and a noun: Writers can correctly use either the active or the passive voice--but mixing the two, especially in a list, is incorrect. “They run farther, longer, and never get fat.” The first two elements share a verb, and the third has its … Definitions and Examples of Passivization in English, Passive Voice Usage and Examples for ESL/EFL, M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia, B.A., History, Armstrong State University. This will ensure that your sentences read smoothly, that the reader hones in on your meaning, and that they are not distracted by inequal parts. Examples of Faulty Parallelism in English Grammar. Do you have nouns, verbs, adjectives, -ing phrases, etc. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Definition and Examples of Parallel Structure, Understanding the Types of Verbs in English Grammar, Definition and Examples of Agreement in English Grammar, Constructing Parallel Sentences and Phrases, Parallelism in Writing for English Learners, Examples and Usage of Conjunctions in English Grammar, Definition and Examples of Correlative Conjunctions, Definiton and Examples of Faulty Pronoun Reference, Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia, M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester, B.A., English, State University of New York. Parallelism is necessary when a series of words, thoughts, or ideas appear in one sentence.
Two items, 2 and 3, are questions, but item 4 is a short, declarative sentence. Just as in a series in a sentence, all items in a list must be alike. You can correct this by rewriting the sentence as it is listed in the opening paragraph, or you can reconstruct it so that "it" serves as the subject for all three phases: You now have equivalent parts in this series: "clangs off the ear," "destroys written sentences," and "muddies any intention." By using parallel structure, you are building a sentence that is balanced, displays perfect harmony, and serves as music to the reader's ear. By contrast, proper parallelism "is the placement of equal ideas in words, phrases, or clauses of similar types," notes Prentice Hall , an education materials and textbook publisher. By using parallel structure, the writer indicates that all of the items in the list are of equal importance. To fix this, replace to be quick with the … Prentice-Hall, Inc.
When you come across faulty parallelism, it clangs off the ear, destroys written sentences, and muddies any intention the author may have had. I like apples, oranges, and going to the zoo.
have the same grammatical form. How to Correctly Use 40 Easily Confused Words and Avoid Blunders! To fix the parallelism in this sentence, we’d structure all 3 hobbies similarly. That’s because the phrases are not parallel. Parallel structure involves using the same pattern of words or the same voice in a list of items or ideas.
Parallel structure involves using the same pattern of words or the same voice in a list of items or ideas. Grace Fleming, M.Ed., is a senior academic advisor at Georgia Southern University, where she helps students improve their academic performance and develop good study skills. Notice that the first two phrases in the a, b, and c construction are adjectives, while the third is a noun phrase.
Now take a look at the next example, which shows the same list but with a correct parallel structure: Notice that in this corrected example, each item begins with a verb ("Define," "Analyze," and Determine") followed by an object ("purpose," audience," and "methodology").
In this sentence, we read 3 items the subject enjoys: Reading books; Going for walks; Photography; You probably noticed the difference between the first two and the last one, the last one being a noun and the others being specific actions. How do we fix this problem? Comparison structures include the typical “than” or “as.”, “I really like this movie, which was why I bought it.”. Faulty parallelism is one of the major grammatical sins in the English language. Sentence 3 says, “Mary is a noun, noun, and verb.”, Participial clauses are phrases that are made from verbs and are used like adjectives. Parallel structure is important in both sentences and phrases. Are your verbs in the same tense on both sides of a conjunction and within your modifying clauses? This makes the list much easier to read because it is comparing like things using equivalent grammatical structure and punctuation: verb, noun, and period. A sentence with parallel construction makes your writing effective, classy, and certain to impress anyone who reads your stuff. In a sentence that uses the active voice, the subject performs an action; in a sentence that uses the passive voice, the action is performed on the subject. It’s important for students to know what problems appear frequently within these sentences in order to improve their chances of scoring well. Look at the structure of your words and phrases on either side of those conjunctions. One common sentence problem involves non-parallel structure. The third item, while still a mini-sentence, offers a different subject (author) who is actively doing something (or not doing something). ), Passive voice: The donut was eaten by Jane. Parallel structure is important in both sentences and phrases. Do you have the same kind of clauses in your lists? Faulty parallelism is a construction in which two or more parts of a sentence are equivalent in meaning but not grammatically similar in form. Properly crafted sentences match nouns with nouns, verbs with verbs, and phrases or clauses with similarly-constructed phrases or clauses. But this sentence is incorrect because the active and passive voices are mixed: A parallel version of this sentence might read: Parallelism is necessary not only in full sentences but also in phrases, as well: This sentence sounds jerky and out of balance, doesn’t it? Constructing Parallel Sentences and Phrases. Notice the faulty comparison of occupations ("engineering management" and "software development") to people ("service technicians" and "sales trainees"). Read it and see if you can determine what is incorrect about the way the list is constructed. If you have a list, does each part of the list (A, B, C, etc.) Sentence 3 says, “Mary is a noun, noun, and verb.” These three sentences break parallel structure.
Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. The Common Core, as well as portions of many standardized tests, require students to recognize and improve poorly-constructed sentences.
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