PARALLEL STRUCTURE

Parallel Structure

Online Quizzes

Grammar Practice – Parallel Structure
Parallel Structure Examples
Parallel Structure Exercise-1
Parallel Structure Exercise-2
Parallel Structure Exercise-3
Parallel Structure Exercise-4

Parallel Structure

PARALLEL STRUCTURE

Parallel structure adds both clout and clarity to your writing. When you use parallel structure, you increase the
readability of your writing by creating word patterns readers can follow easily.To improve the clarity of your writing, it is important to remember the equality of your sentence structure.
This worksheet was designed to help you better understand the importance of Parallel Structure.Parallel Structure means using the same construction for sentence elements that are the same in function.

Exercise-2

Find and correct mistakes in parallel structures in the following sentences.

1. By obeying the speed limit, we can save energy, lives and it costs us less.
2. My home offers me a feeling of security, warm, and love.
3. The pioneers labored to clear away the forest and planting crops.
4. When I refused to help her, she became very angry and shout at me.
6. In my spare time, I enjoy taking care of my aquarium and to work on my stamp collection.
7. Computers are often used to control, adjustment, and correct complex industrial operations.
8. Mathematics can be considered a language, an art, a science, a tool or playing a game.
8. Paper may contain vegetable, minerals, or man-made fibers.
9. Many people who live near the ocean depend on it as a source of food, recreation,
and to have economic opportunities.
10. This summer the Recreation Department will sponsor classes in swimming and to lift weights.
11. A bulldozer is used for pushing earth and to grade it.
12. In ancient Rome people used perfume for bathing, to soak their clothing, and even to give their horses a more pleasant odor.

Ex-2

1. money 7. a game
2. warmth 8. mineral
3. … to plant 9. economic opportunities
4. … shouted 10. and lifting weights
5. … working 11. and grading it
6. adjust 12. soaking … giving

Parallel Structure

Exercise-3

Identify the part of each sentence, which is not parallel in structure, and write the correct structure.

1. Pauline read the book, wrote a report, and returning it to the library.
2. This class will cover the basics: how to write, to listen, and speaking in front of a group.
3. The rules were quite clear: no smoking, they couldn’t have visitors, and no loud music.
4. Eileen loved to run, doing her homework, and to watch television with her friends after school.
5. Essential to friendships are trusty and caring.
6. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wisdom.
7. This vacation I plan to swim, to hike, and getting lots of fresh air in the mountains.
9. Mary always believed that exercise and to read good books made her a wellrounded person.
10. Removing the front door and to carry the four-poster bed upstairs were the hardest parts of the move.
11. Increasing dietary intake of calcium and to exercise regularly are ways to prevent osteoporosis.
12. Marcia does not know whether to put hot food directly into the refrigerator or letting it cool first.
13. Many parents in our school district know neither how to make the school system work for them nor spotting problems before they get out of hand.
13. Will is not sure whether the rock he found is igneous or to be a sedimentary rock.
14. Botanical gardens not only educate the public about plants but also centers for scientific investigation into botany.
15. Amber can’t remember whether a checkerboard had sixty-four squares or that it has forty-eight squares.

Ex-3

1. returned 6. wise 11. let it
2. to speak 7. to get 12. nor how to spot
3. no visitors 8. reading 13. orsedementary.
4. to do her homework 9. carrying 14. … but also serve as centers …
5. trust 10. exercising 15. … has sixty-four squares

Parallel Structure

Exercise-4

Change the following sentences so that they are parallel.

1. Jane is young, enthusiastic, and she has talent.
2. We learned to read the passages carefully and underlining the main idea.
5. The duties of the new secretary are to answer the telephone, to type letters and book keeping.
4. The Patient’s symptoms were fever, dizziness, and his head hurt.
5. Professor Williams enjoys teaching and to write.
6. She is not only famous in the United States, but also abroad.
7. The exam tested both listening and to read.
8. He is not only intelligent but also he is creative.
9. Flying is not only faster but also it is safer than travelling by car.
10. John registered for both Electrical Engineering and to study mathematics.
11. Henry will wash the clothes, iron the shirts, prepare the meal, dusting the furniture.
12. Most Americans would not be happy without a color television, two cars, and working at an extra job.
13. When they were in Mexico, they saw museums, ruins, and folk dancing.
14. He is young, intelligent, and has charm.
15. We enjoyed the varied cuisine and going to the excellent theater in New York.
16. That soup should not be served hot, but at a cold temperature.
17. Renting an apartment can be as expensive as to buy a house.
18. Going on vacation is more fun than to work in the summer.
19. She likes to read, to travel, and painting.
20. They came out of the building hurriedly, hailed a cab, and jump into it.

Parallel Structure

Ex-4

1. … and talented 11. … dust
2. … and to underline … 12. … and an extra job
3. … and to do the book keeping 13. … and folk dances
4. … and headaches 14. … and charming
5. … and writing 15. … and the excellent theater …
6. She is famous not only … 16. … but cold
7. … and reading 17. … as buying a house
8. … but also creative 18. … than working
9. … but also safer … 19. … and to paint
10. … and mathematics 20. … and jumped

Parallel Structure

Exercise-5

Define whether the following sentences below are TRUE (T) or FALSE (F). Correct mistakes.

1. When he was a college student, he learned to play tennis, to golf, and swimming.
2. Do not speak out, but raise your hand.
3. To face adversity, to solve problems, and to overcome difficulties all give one sense of satisfaction.
4. We enjoyed the perfect weather and seeing fjords in Norway.
5. Go to window A, ask for a form, and bring it back to me.
6. Before he died, he had sold his house, wrote a will, and set up a trust fund.
7. Her hobbies are reading, playing piano, and gardening.
8. Being a homemaker is as difficult as working in an office.
9. After years of dealing with the public, she developed great charm, wit, and confidant.
10. On their vacation they enjoyed swimming at the beach, walking through the quaint streets, and sitting in the picturesque parks.
11. He could not decide whether to get a job or studying.
12. Although he was quick to criticize, he was slow praising his students.
13. The presidential candidate was a man of intellectual strength, moral character, and personal integrity.
14. The bellhop took my bags to my room, opened the door, and puts them at the foot of the bed.
15. Jogging is more vigorous exercise than to play golf.

Ex-5

1. F, to swim 6. F, written a will 11 .F, or to study
2. T 7. T 12.F, slow to praise
3. T 8. T 13.T
4. F, and fjords … 9. F, confidence 14.F, and put them …
5. T 10.T 15.F, than playing golf

Example Sentences

Active / Passive

Segment 1 Segment 2
1a. The tall gangster hit John
1b. John was hit by the tall gangster
1c. The tall gangster hit John
1d. John was hit by the tall gangster
and the short thug hit Sam.
and Sam was hit by the short thug.
and Sam was hit by the short thug.
and the short thug hit Sam

Minimal Attachment / Nonminimal Attachment

Segment 1  Segment 2
2a. Jim believed all Tom’s stories
2b. Jim believed all Tom’s stories were literally true
2c. Jim Believed all Tom’s stories
2d. Jim believed all Tom’s stories were literally true
and Sue believed Jim’s stories.
and Sue believed Jim’s stories were fictitious.
and Sue believed Jim’s stories were fictitious.
and Sue believed Jim’s stories

Nonshifted / Shifted Heavy NP

Segment 1 Segment 2
3a. Mary wrote a long note about her predicament to her mother.
3b. Mary wrote to her mother a long note about her predicament.
3c. Mary wrote a long note about her predicament to her mother.
3d. Mary wrote to her mother a long note about her predicament.
and Sue wired a telegram requesting more money to her father.
and Sue wired to her father a telegram requesting money.
and Sue wired to her father a telegram requesting money.
and Sue wired a telegram requesting more money to her father.

Agent / Theme

Segment 1 Segment 2
4a. Jack rolled down the hill
4b. The rock rolled down the hill
4c. Jack rolled down the hill
4d. The rock rolled down the hill
and George did too.
and the bucket did too.
and the bucket did too.
and George did too.

Animate / Inanimate

Segment 1 Segment 2
5a. John telephoned the doctor
5b. John telephoned the library
5c. John telephoned the doctor
5d. John telephoned the library
and his friend telephoned the lawyer.
and his friend telephoned the museum.
and his friend telephoned the museum.
and his friend telephoned the lawyer

 

Parallel Structure (//)

Parallelism means that items that form a pair (two items) or items that form a series (more than two items) have the same grammatical structure (are worded the same way).
Lack of parallel structure occurs when parts of a sentence should be in parallel grammatical structure (should be worded the same way) but are not.

1- In the following pairs, one sentence has parallel structure, and the other sentence lacks parallel structure. Which sentence is correct?

A) Before the dog show, the dogs were washed with shampoo, dried under blow dryers, and fluffed up with brushes.
B) Before the dog show, the dogs were washed with shampoo, dried under blow dryers, and fluffing was done with brushes.

Answer : A) Before the dog show, the dogs were washed with shampoo, dried under blow dryers, and fluffed up with brushes.

Answer B) is incorrect.
Washed with shampoo and dried under blow dryers are verbs and prepositional phrases. Fluffing was done … is an independent clause.

2- In the following pairs, one sentence has parallel structure, and the other sentence lacks parallel structure. Which sentence is correct?

A) In preparation for the gala, I need to buy a cocktail dress, pick out shoes, and to get my hair cut and styled.
B) In preparation for the gala, I need to buy a cocktail dress, to pick out shoes, and to get my hair cut and styled.

Answer B ) B) In preparation for the gala, I need to buy a cocktail dress, to pick out hoes, and to get my hair cut and styled.

Answer A is incorrect. To is used in the first phrase and the third phrase, so to should also be used in the second phrase.

3- In the following pairs, one sentence has parallel structure, and the other sentence lacks parallel structure. Which sentence is correct?

A) Bob was not only Sam’s roommate, but also he was his best friend.
B) Bob was not only Sam’s roommate but also his best friend.

Answer: B) Bob was not only Sam’s roommate but also his best friend.

Answer A) is incorrect. Sam’s roommate is a phrase, and he was his best friend is a sentence. Answer B is correct because his best friend is also a phrase.

4- The best way to impress a woman is to make eye contact, ask her questions about her interests, and to tell funny jokes.

A) Parallel
B) Not Parallel

B) Not Parallel

to is used before the first and third phrases, but not before the second phrase, so the sentence is not parallel.

5- The best way to impress a woman is to make eye contact, to ask her questions about her interests, and to tell funny jokes.

A) Parallel
B) Not Parallel

A) Parallel

to is either repeated in each phrase or used only before the first. Therefore, sentence is parallel

6-The best way to impress a woman is to make eye contact, ask her questions about her interests, and tell funny jokes.

A) Parallel
B) Not Parallel

Answer : A) Parallel

to is either repeated in each phrase or used only before the first. Therefore, sentence is parallel

7- My dog is the best pet because she knows many tricks, she listens to me, and is pretty.

A) Parallel
B) Not Parallel

Answer : B) Not Parallel

she knows tricks and she listens to are independent clauses, but is pretty is not; therefore, the sentence is not parallel.

8- My dog is the best pet because she knows many tricks, she listens to me, and she is pretty.

A) Parallel
B) Not Parallel

Answer :  A) Parallel

she knows many tricks, she listens to me, and she is pretty are all independent clauses, so the overall sentence is parallel

9- Of all desserts, I prefer cake, pie, and dipping strawberries in chocolate.

A) Parallel
B) Not Parallel

Answer :  B) Not Parallel

cake and pie are nouns but dipping strawberries in chocolate is a phrase, so the sentence is not parallel.

10- Of all desserts, I prefer cake, pie, and chocolate-dipped strawberries.

A) Parallel
B) Not Parallel

Answer :  A) Parallel

the three words cake, pie, and strawberries are all nouns, so the sentence is parallel. (Chocolate-dipped modifies the noun strawberries.)

11-Our class discussion was engaging, informative, and interesting.

A) Parallel
B) Not Parallel

Answer :  A) Parallel

engaging, informative, and interesting are all adjectives, so the sentence is parallel.

13- Our class discussion was engaging, informative, and should have been longer.

A) Parallel
B) Not Parallel

Answer :  B) Not Parallel

while engaging and informative are both adjectives, should have been longer is a phrase, so the sentence is not parallel.

14- Which sentence is correct?

A) Our class discussion was engaging, informative, and interesting.
B) Our class discussion was engaging, informative, and should have been longer.

Answer: A) Our class discussion was engaging, informative, and interesting.

In the first sentence, engaging, informative, and interesting are all adjectives, so the entence is parallel. In the second sentence, while engaging and informative are both adjectives, should have been longer is a phrase, so the sentence is not parallel.

Review the following sentences for errors in parallel structure. Correct the sentence by rewriting it. Not all sentences are incorrect. Answers may vary.

My dog is not only friendly but he is also playful.

Correct. Friendly and playful are both adjectives

We can go to the park or out dancing.

Incorrect. We can go to the park or to a dance.

Jeremy likes to read historical, realistic and speculative fiction.

Correct. Historical, speculative and realistic are all adjectives.

Tell Michael I said he can either do homework now or later.

Correct. Now and later are both adjectives.

Buying a car is not a decision to take lightly nor be careless about.

Incorrect. Buying a car is not a decision to take lightly or carelessly.

Tyler is for the legalization not criminalization of marijuana.

Correct.

Sally needs a new stove, dishwasher and knives for her kitchen.

Incorrect. Sally needs a new stove, dishwasher and set of knives for her kitchen.

My first grade teacher taught me how to write, how to read and play tic-tac-toe.

Incorrect. My first grade teacher taught me how to read, how to write and how to play tictac-toe.

She will not admit it nor will she be apologizing.

Incorrect. She will not admit it nor will she apologize.

10. The whole wheat pasta is better than enriched wheat pasta.

Correct

11. Literature classes teach students to analyze texts, think critically, and have better writing

Literature classes teach students to analyze texts, think critically, and improve writing skills.

12. Beets are just as nutrient rich as rutabagas even though they are not in season.

Correct

Parallel structure isn’t a set rule, but more of a stylistic choice: it helps sentence elements maintain a pattern.

 

 

Parallel Structure

Good writing involves not only good ideas, but you should also have strong grammar–did you notice the error in this sentence? The second part should be: … but also strong grammar. This is called parallel structure and can make the difference between a strong and a weak sentence. In this video, learn how to make your sentences balanced.

 

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