Parallelism, “parallel construction,” or “parallel structure,” is a sentence style that balances words, phrases, and clauses so that have they have the same grammatical structure.
What’s the Purpose of Parallelism?
Parallelism is used to demonstrate that ideas have the same level of importance, to eliminate awkwardness from sentences, and to create emphasis.
When Should Parallelism Be Used?
Parallel structure should be used when a sentence forms a list/series, uses a coordinating conjunction, or compares/contrasts ideas.
Example 1.1 uses the suffix “–ing” to create parallelism. The sentence forms lists and uses the conjunction “and.”
The verb phrase “to go” is changed to “going” in order to parallel the gerunds “eating” and “showering.”
I like eating my breakfast, showering, and to go on a run.
I like eating my breakfast, showering, and going on a run.
The sentence could also be made parallel by altering the gerunds so that they parallel the verb phrase “to go” as shown below in example 1.2.
I like to eat my breakfast, to shower, and to go on a run.
Example 2 uses parallel structure, because it is a series of nouns.
Children who study music also learn confidence, discipline, and they are creative.
Children who study music also learn confidence, discipline, and creativity.
Example 3 demonstrates parallel comparisons.
It is faster to ride a bike than walking to the store.
It is faster to ride a bike than to walk to the store.
Kayla | 2020
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