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     Parallel Structure

Parallel structure occurs when a pair or list of 

actions or items in a sentence has the same

grammatical structure.  


Examples:

a list or pair of nouns is parallel. 

     --Muna invited friends, relatives, co-workers, and neighbors to her party.


a list or pair of gerunds is parallel.

    --The class requires daily reading and writing.


a list or pair of verbs is parallel.

     --For exercise, my mom lifts weights, swims, and jogs.


a list or pair of adjectives is parallel.

     --The candidate is charismatic, intelligent, and honest.


a list or pair of adverbs is parallel.

     --Working quickly but carefully, the surgeon operated on her patient.


a list or pair of prepositional phrases is parallel.

     --The professor walked down the hallway and into his office.


a list or pair of gerund phrases is parallel.

     --Manfred enjoys watching movies and attending concerts.


a list or pair of infinitive phrases is parallel.

     --After LaFonda graduates, she plans to get a job and to find her own apartment.


a list or pair of present participial phrases is parallel.

     --Hanging out with his friends and playing video games all night, Brody never did his

       homework.


a list or pair of past participial phrases is parallel.

     --Defeated easily and embarrassed by the defeat, Molly walked off the court without

     talking to anyone.


a list or pair of clauses is parallel.

     --I hope that Teddy apologizes to Loni and Loni accepts Teddy's apology.


When creating parallel structure, repeated word can be skipped in subsequent items.


parallel     --On his trip, DeMarcus traveled through China, through Vietnam, and through

               Laos.

parallel     --On his trip, DeMarcus traveled through China, Vietnam, and Laos.
not parallel--On his trip, DeMarcus traveled through China, Vietnam, and through Laos.

parallel     --To improve my grade, I need to meet with my professor during his office hours,
              to see a tutor, and to study more.

parallel     --To improve my grade, I need to meet with my professor during his office hours,

               see a tutor, and study more.

not parallel--To improve my grade, I need to meet with my professor during his office hours,

               to see a tutor, and study more.


parallel      --Mai plays soccer, plays basketball, and plays softball.

parallel      --Mai plays soccer, basketball, and softball.

not parallel--Mai plays soccer, basketball, and plays softball.


Parallel structure is a concern when correlative conjunctions are used.

     --Sammy studies not only  in the library  but also  at a local coffee shop.

     --So that the kids are not left alone tomorrow, either  I will leave work early, or

     my wife will go to her meeting late.

      --Neither  impressed by the performance  nor satisfied by the meal, Michael and

      Ezra decided they would not return to the dinner theater.  

     --Both running on the deck  and  diving into the pool are prohibited. 

     --Whether  hanging out with friends, attending class, studying in the library, or

      watching a movie alone, Tammy dresses in the latest fashion.


Thesis statements commonly require parallel structure.