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Author Topic: Lesson #11 – Using Parallelism for Clarity and Cohesion  (Read 26073 times)
Joe Carillo
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« on: July 11, 2009, 03:41:55 AM »

PARALLEL SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION

Parallel construction is one of the most powerful tools for organizing and presenting ideas. In sentences, grammatical structures that are alike in function should follow the same pattern all throughout. Grammatical forms should never be mixed.

We have to put in parallel not only single words or short phrases but all grammatical structures such as extended phrases and clauses as well as long serial lists.

For clarity and cohesion, serial or enumerative sentence elements should use the same grammatical pattern all throughout:
•   All noun forms
•   All gerund forms (verbs ending in "-ing")
•   All infinitive forms (verb stems preceded by "to")
•   All verb forms
•   Other consistent forms

Unparallel construction:

“Jessica likes reading, jogging, and to play computer games."

("reading" and "jogging" are both gerunds but the third, "to play computer 
 games," is in the infinitive form.)

Parallel construction using all-gerund forms:

“Jessica likes reading, jogging, and playing computer games."

SOME RULES FOR PARALLELISM:

1. All elements in a list should take the same grammatical form.

A not so-well-thought-out, unparallel list:
 
“At present, our association has: (1) no formal charter, (2) subsisting without a long-term organizational goal, (3) a seriously declining membership, (4) a large budgetary deficit, and (5) to collect a large amount of past-due membership fees.”

A cohesive, all-parallel list:

“At present, our association: (1) lacks a formal charter, (2) subsists without a long-term organizational goal, (3) suffers from a seriously declining membership, (4) carries a large budgetary deficit, and (5) needs to collect a large amount of past-due membership fees.”

2. Elements being compared should use a parallel structure. In "X is better than/more than Y"
   constructions, the elements being compared should have the same grammatical structure.


Unparallel (gerund/infinitive):
   
Helen enjoys jogging better than to run.

Parallel (gerund/gerund):

Helen enjoys jogging better than running.

3. Elements joined by a linking verb or a verb of being such as “is” should take the same grammatical form.

Unparallel (infinitive/gerund):

To make that impossible demand is declaring open hostilities.

Parallel (infinitive/infinitive):

To make that impossible demand is to declare open hostilities.

4. Elements joined by a correlative conjunction should take the same grammatical form.

When using the forms "either . . .  or," "neither . . . nor," "not only . . . but also," "both. . . and . . .", and "whether . . . or," the elements being correlated should have the same grammatical structure.

Unparallel (gerund/infinitive):

For you to get to Laoag on time, we suggest either taking the morning flight tomorrow or to drive overnight right now.

Parallel (gerund/gerund):

For you to get to Laoag on time, we suggest either taking the morning flight tomorrow or driving overnight right now.

Next: Harnessing Parallelism for Structural Balance
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corartum
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 05:38:08 AM »

I've been seeking for this for quite some time. Very informative and well explained. Thanks. Smiley
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bonniemccabe
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 01:43:29 PM »

Very clear and easily understandable just like as Parallelism.
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pipesdaddy
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2012, 07:07:27 PM »

Was really waiting for this. Thanks for making the entire thing clear.
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Marie Lu
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 07:28:10 PM »

The English language confuse me sometimes, when I am sure that is something right is is wrong, and and vice versa. This information helped me a bit and clarify some basic things Shocked.
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anomus
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 05:12:49 PM »

Great. I've found this forum and I am really enjoy. Great to know better English ! Thanks for that ! That is really helpful.

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artificialturf8
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 10:26:54 AM »

My English is not good enough so learning English program like this is really useful to me, especially in grammars. I will follow lesson by lesson.
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langus
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2012, 03:47:52 AM »

I started laernig english and this cours is very usful.
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damianos
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 09:01:19 AM »

Was really waiting for this. I learn english for a year. Thanks for that.
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