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Using parallel structure

Where there are two parallel elements, they must be joined with and or another suitable joining word. Where there are more than two parallel elements, the final two are joined.

Examples
  • The criteria to be considered are aesthetics, sustainability, and conservation.
  • Students should set up the equipment, check it, then begin the experiment.

Click and drag the word from the box to the correct place in the sentence.

1. Scoria was used for the project because it is suitable available locally.

Drag word: and


2. The specimen was soaked in the solution placed in the box.

Drag word: then


3. The next section presents a list of equipment, a description of materials, an outline of the process.

Drag word: and


4. Finally, the sample is placed in the solution, soaked for at least 2 hours, dried.

Drag word: then




Two sentence patterns which require parallel structure are either... or and not only... but also. Either... or describes a choice.

Example

They will either withdraw the product or redesign it.

Note that the word groups which follow both either and or must be parallel.

Part of speech connector verb object connector verb object
Sentence They will either withdraw the product or redesign it.

Describe these two choices by writing an either... or sentence in the box below.

  1. apply for a postgraduate program
  2. look for a job overseas

After graduation he will...


Not only... but also is a more emphatic way of saying and.

Example

He is not only an excellent teacher but also a respected researcher.

Note that the word groups which follow both not only and but also must be parallel.

Part of speech connector noun phrase connector noun phrase
Sentence He is not only an excellent teacher but also a respected researcher.

Write a not only... but also sentence including these two points in the box below.

  1. save money
  2. help the environment

New technology should...


Items in a list must be in parallel form.

Incorrect

The green features include:
  • materials should be sustainable
  • rainwater collection tanks and recycled water
  • installing solar panels
  • replant trees in the construction area
Correct

The green features include:
  • use of sustainable materials
  • provision of rainwater collection tanks and recycled water
  • installation of solar panels
  • replanting of trees in the construction area

Correct the verb form in the following example of incorrect parallelism.

Example

The solutions suggested include: revise the existing design, create a new design, and keeping the cost of materials down.

1. Correct form of revise

2. Correct form of create

Which of the following are good ways of making a list parallel? Choose one or more options from the list below.

  • The laboratory manager's recommendations were as follows:
    • the purchase of additional equipment
    • to employ a casual technician
    • training programs should be provided for students and staff
  • The laboratory manager's recommendations were as follows:
    • the purchase of additional equipment
    • the employment of a casual technician
    • the provision of training programs for students and staff
  • The laboratory manager's recommendations were as follows:
    • to purchase additional equipment
    • to employ a casual technician
    • to provide training programs for students and staff
  • The laboratory manager's recommendations were as follows:
    • additional equipment should be purchased
    • a casual technician should be employed
    • training programs should be provided for students and staff

Your answer:

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