March 25th : Parallel Structure

Understand the Problem:

For a list of actions or items, you must maintain parallel structure. To do this, use equal grammatical units. If the first item is a noun, then the following items must also be nouns; if the first item is a verb, then make the other items verbs as well

Identify Parallel Structure in Sentences

Nonparallel to Parallel

Find the Solution:

Once you discover a nonparallel item, you have two options.

  • First, you can make it conform to the other grammatical items in the sentence.
  • Look at this example: We spent the hour in the waiting room reading old magazines, eating stale cookies from the vending machine, and we wiggled on the hard plastic chairs.
  • Reading old magazines and eating stale cookies are participle phrases; we wiggled ..., however, is a main clause.
  • If we fix the nonparallel item, the sentence looks like this:
  • We spent the hour in the waiting room reading old magazines, eating stale cookies from the vending machine, and wiggling on the hard plastic chairs.

Review the info? Now take the quiz!