Parallelism

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Parallelism is a very important concept in writing. In  compound sentences and lists, each part of the sentence should  be in equivalent or parallel form. Parallel sentence structures make the relationships between various ideas in the sentence clear. Sometimes your ear can be a guide because sentence structures that are not parallel sound a bit strange. Here are some examples of faulty parallelism:

Not parallel: A president must be articulate, resourceful, and always tell the truth. (The phrase always tell the truth is not parallel with the two adjectives articulate and resourceful.)

Parallel: A president must be articulate, resourceful, and truthful.

Not parallel:  He likes biking in the mountains, exercising in the gym, and to work on his ranch. (the phrase to work on his ranch is not parallel with the two gerunds biking and exercising.)

Parallel: He likes biking in the mountains, exercising in the gym, and working on his ranch

Not parallel: The speech writer had to explain the policy succinctly, accurately, and in detail. (The phrase in detail  is not parallel with the two adverbs succinctly and accurately.)

Parallel: The speech writer had to explain the policy succinctly, accurately, and thoroughly.

Revise the following sentences to correct faulty parallel construction:

  1. To read a book about India is different from actually traveling to the country.
  2. To succeed in politics, you need not only to raise a lot of money but also you must spend many hours knocking on doors.
  3. Cat owners were angry and in a defiant mood when they heard about the new cat by-law.
  4. The new policy affected all managers, supervisors, and those involved consulting.
  5. The warden said that Bert was a poor inmate because he complained about the food, completed his license plates in a careless manner, and his motivation was low.
  6. The principal is paid too little, obese, and a former prison warden.
  7. Heavy smokers have a higher probability of coronary problems and of dying prematurely.
  8. The restaurant was charming, the service great, and I’ve never tasted better food.
  9. You are expected not only to organize the meeting, but you must also prepare the agenda.
  10. Right now we should focus on researching the issue rather than on the recommendations.
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