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Recognising parallel structure

All three verbs are linked to the same subject. Therefore they must all take the same form.

Part of speech Subject Verb Verb Verb
Sentence An engineering student presents, analyses, and discusses data in a project report.

Both adjectives describe the same subject and are linked to the same form of the verb to be.

Subject verb 'to be' Adjective Adjective
The lab equipment is outdated and inefficient.

In the following sentences, the parallel (matching) elements are in bold. Identify the grammatical form of the words or phrases in bold from the dropdown list. The first one is done for you.

Example
Super T-Beams can lower costs and reduce construction time.
  • A bridge consists of superstructure and substructure.
  • Cycling is a healthy and environmentally friendly form of transport.
  • The professor is an excellent teacher and a respected researcher.
  • The aim of the experiment was to determine principal stresses and estimate the magnitude of stresses.
  • The accuracy of results depends on the number of elements used, the size of the elements, and the construction of the model.
  • Timeframes and site access must be considered when selecting a construction method.

Now click on the verb or verb phrase that does the work of connecting the word groups marked in bold. The example below highlights the verb can which connects both lower and reduce (can lower, can reduce).

Example

Super T-Beams can lower costs and reduce construction time.
  1. A bridge consists of superstructure and substructure.
  2. Cycling is a healthy and environmentally friendly form of transport.
  3. The professor is an excellent teacher and a respected researcher.
  4. The aim of the experiment was to determine principal stresses and estimate the magnitude of stresses.
  5. The accuracy of results depends on the number of elements used, the size of the elements, and the construction of the model.
  6. Timeframes and site access must be considered when selecting a construction method.

Recognising parallel structure makes it easier to understand complex sentences. Highlight the parallel elements in the following paragraph. The first one is done for you.

Example

Civil engineering is all around us. Industrial and commercial buildings, transport systems, water supply, and waste disposal systems are all examples of civil engineering.
  1. Expanding our cities and conserving our environment depend upon the work of the civil engineer.
  2. Monash graduates work in all aspects of civil engineering including technical design, computer simulation, site construction, project management, and finance.
  3. In the past, civil engineering graduates have found work both in Australia and overseas.
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