Sentence Pattern 19: Using Parallel Structure (AM: incorporate possession into each sentence)

For additional help using parallel structure, see Capital Community College Guide to Grammar and Writing http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/parallelism.htm


When you include two or more similar thoughts in the same sentence, they should be constructed in a similar way.  Similar construction is called "
parallel structure."  There are many situations when parallel structure is used.  Here's a few:
1.  If one item in a series is listed as a prepositional phrase, the others should be in a prepositional phrase also.
    Example:  After a game of soccer, Bob quaffs a gallon
of Gatorade, a quart of Quencher, and a pint of prune juice.  
   
NOT: ...Bob quaffs a gallon of Gatorade, a quart of Quencher, and some prune juice.
2.  If one clause of a sentence is in ACTIVE voice, the other clause should also be in ACTIVE voice (not PASSIVE).  
    Example:  Bob
participated in three events and won awards in all three.
    NOT:  Bob
participated in three events and was awarded a prize in all three.
3.  If listing a series of actions (verbs) in a sentence, use the same verb tense.
    Example:  Whenever he
feels melancholy, Bob runs on the beach, plays tennis, sees an upbeat movie, or calls a friend.   (All verbs are in present tense.)
    NOT:  ..., Bob
runs on the beach, plays tennis, saw an upbeat movie, or calls a friend.  (Saw is in past tense.)
4.  There are lots of other situations in writing that require parallel structure.  It's hard to classify all of them.  Here's a few other examples of parallel structure.
    Right:  Fearing failure, Bob began
trembling, sweating, and vomiting.
    Wrong:  ..., Bob began
trembling, sweating, and he vomited.
    Right: Because Bob became an investigative reporter, he asked
where the accident occurred, when it occurred, and why it occurred. 
    Wrong: ...., he asked
where the accident occurred, when it occurred, and the reason it occurred.
      
Coordinate ideas must use the same tense or structure.  (These examples are taken from PUSD's Writing Manuel.)

Wrong: We learned how to change a tire, shift sixteen gears, and once almost ran the truck off the road.  
Correct: We learned how to change a tire, shift sixteen gears, and keep the truck from running off the road. 
  (All the objects of the verb learned are parallel.)
   
Wrong: I have mowed the lawn, washed the dog, rescued our hamster, and went to the store all in one day.
Correct:  I mowed the lawn, washed the dog, rescued our hamster, and went to the store all in one day. 
  (All the verbs are parallel)  
Wrong: Water skiing no longer interests me as much as to go scuba diving.  
Correct: Water skiing no longer interests me as much as scuba diving.  

 

SP 19 practice:  Underline the correct ending for each sentence below.
1.  The movie Catch Me If You Can featured a character who was daring, racy, and...
(a) ...intelligent.    (b) ...used his intelligence.
2.  Leonardo DiCaprio portrayed a charlatan who impersonated others, accepted jobs he was not qualified to do, and...   (a) ...put others in perilous situations.  (b)...others were put in perilous situations.
3.  Before the 10-mile run began, Fritz ate a protein bar and...  (a)...quaffed a jug of Gatorade.     (b)...will quaff a jug of Gatorade.
4.  "Don't mock me and ... (a) ...don't mock others," warned the principal.   (b)...it's not nice to mock others," warned the principal.
5.  Finding herself in a perilous predicament, Porsha decided she should retrace her steps, find a map,and..
   (a)...take a safer route.   (b)...a safer route was found.