Parallelism! In this lesson, you will learn how to use the parallel structure in English with useful explanations and example sentences to master your English grammar.
Table of Contents
Parallelism Definition (Parallel Structure)
- In English grammar, parallelism, also known as parallel structure or parallel construction.
- It means that coordinate parts of a sentence, such as items in a series or list, have the same grammatical form. Items in a series must be all nouns, all verbs, or all participles, and so on.
Why to Use Parallel Structure?
1. It’s easier for readers to read and process than those that do not.
- I love playing games, cooking and listening to the music.
Without parallel structure:
- I love playing games, I also love cooking and I love listening to the music, too. (?!)
2. It helps writers avoid grammatically incorrect sentences.
- She can play the piano and singing at the same time.
In this sentence, we can separate into two sides of sentence:
- She can play the piano.
- She can singing. (this one is incorrect)
3. It makes your writing effective, classy, and certain to impress anyone who reads your stuff.
Rules & Parallelism Examples
1. Use parallel structure with elements in lists or in a series. (nouns go with nouns, verbs go with verbs, etc.)
- Incorrect: Tonight, I will do my homework and watching TV.
- Correct: Tonight, I will do my homework and watch TV.
2. Use parallel structure with elements joined by coordinating conjunctions.
- Incorrect: Your company and what its partner is are excellent.
- Correct: Your company and its partner are excellent.
3. Use parallel structure with elements joined by a correlative conjunction.
- Incorrect: She not only is a novelist but also a poet.
- Correct: She is not only a novelist but also a poet.
- Correct: She not only is a novelist but also is a poet.
4. Use parallel structure with elements being compared. (A is more than / better than B)
- Incorrect: I love singing more than to draw.
- Correct: I love singing more than drawing.
5. Use parallel structure with elements joined by a linking verb or a verb of being.
- Incorrect: To love is losing control.
- Correct: To love is to lose control.
Parallelism | Infographic