Articles, prepositions, nouns, adjectives, phrases, and clauses all need to be parallel. In this video, Judy Steiner-Williams illustrates how to achieve parallel constructions in each of these areas. Sentence examples are revised throughout the lesson to demonstrate how to recognize and correct nonparallel structure. The need for parallelism in outlines and lists is also discussed.
- [Instructor] Do you like a predictable rhythm?…Do you like symmetrical patterns?…You order a flat of 36 marigolds…and when the flat is delivered,…it contains 34 marigolds…and two yellow pansies.…All 36 are yellow flowers,…but something is just different, a little askew.…Well, grammatical parallel structure is sort of like that.…The reader gets into your writing flow,…is expecting a pattern,…and then all of a sudden the structure or pattern changes.…Something's just not right.…
A writer may mistakenly believe…that constantly varying the wording for variety…to avoid redundancy is always a good idea.…While that theory may be true,…effective writers should pay special attention…to parallel structure.…Let's start with the simplest possible parallel structure,…articles and prepositions.…The letters, the memos, and email…all need to be professional.…Or,…The letters, the memos,…and the email…all need to be professional.…Adding that one little article makes the sentence parallel.…
And notice the little preposition in these two examples.…
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- Identify irregular verbs and explain how to use them appropriately in all tenses.
- List the seven coordinating conjunctions.
- Recognize commonly misused and misunderstood words.
- Determine correct comma placement.
- Explain the difference between a colon and a semicolon.
- Name the four sentence structures.