English - Parallel Structure

About

For your sentences, parallel structure occurs when you list:

  • items,
  • phrases,
  • or clauses

in the same grammatical form.

Example

Look at this example of a sentence with faulty parallel structure:

  • For exercise, Tara liked snowboarding, surfing, and to run. (Incorrect)
  • For exercise, Tara liked snowboarding, surfing, and running. (Correct)

In this sentence, the writer needed to keep the items listed in the same form. In this case, the items needed to be present participles. In some cases, you may have longer items listed as phrases or clauses that will need to agree. Look at this example:

  • In his observation of the animals, Josef noticed that they would assemble by species in groups next to the water hole, to forage individually in the jungle for food, and then sleep in smaller family groups. (Incorrect)
  • In his observation of the animals, Josef noticed that they would assemble by species in groups next to the water hole, forage individually in the jungle for food, and sleep in smaller, family groups. (Correct)

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