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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE — Examples
Parallelism

 
 

Examples of sentences with parallelism problems and how to fix them:
 

 
 

Non-parallel Sentence

My new job gives me security, flexibility, and it'll be exciting.

Problem

Noun + noun + clause

Parallel Sentence My new job gives me security, flexibility, and excitement.
Solution noun + noun + noun
Non-parallel Sentence Maxine likes to sing, acting, and to dance.
Problem infinitive + gerund + infinitive
Parallel Sentence Maxine likes to sing, act, and dance.
Solution Infinitive + infinitive + infinitive
It is not necessary to repeat the "to" for each infinitive form in a series of infinitives. The first form uses "to", but the others do not.
Non-parallel Sentence Jane walked through the kitchen door, past the dining table, and she went into the living room.
Problem Prepositional phrase + prepositional phrase + clause
Parallel Sentence Jane walked through the kitchen door, past the dining table, and into the living room.
Solution prepositional phrase + prepositional phrase + prepositional phrase
Non-parallel Sentence Byron explained how the video camera works, and how to use the tape recorder and the camera.
Problem Clause + Infinitive
Parallel Sentence Byron explained how the video camera, the tape recorder, and the camera work. OR Byron explained how to use the video camera, the tape recorder, and the camera.
Solution Noun + noun + noun
Non-parallel Sentence The city is both beautiful and it's safe.
Problem Adjective + clause
Parallel Sentence The city is both beautiful and safe.
Solution Adjective + adjective
Non-parallel Sentence On the weekend we can play golf or the music festival.
Problem Verb phrase + noun phrase
Parallel Sentence On the weekend we can play golf or go to the music festival.
Solution Verb phrase + verb phrase
Non-parallel Sentence Tom and his family moved to the big city because he could get a better job (1), a university for his daughter, and his wife had a business that she couldn't expand in their small town (2).
Problem Clause + noun phrase + clause
The two clauses are structured differently: (1) short and positive(2) long and negative
Parallel Sentence Tom and his family moved to the big city because he could get a better job, his daughter could go to the university, and his wife could expand her business.
Solution Clause + clause + clause
Now the clauses all have the same structure.