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3.3 Parallel Construction

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Parallel construction is the repetition of a certain grammatical pattern. Use of parallel structure will add a sense of order, balance, and control to your writing.

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Parallel construction is particularly useful when writing a bulleted list.

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When we use parallel construction, we must edit carefully to make sure that the parallelism is sustained.

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In Example 1 above, each item listed follows the same grammatical pattern: a preposition ( ‘at’ ) followed by a substantive noun ( ‘marine biology’, ‘nuclear physics’ , or  ‘pictorial art’. In Example 2, the last item ( ‘painting pictures’ ) breaks the pattern by using a verb followed by a noun.

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Whenever a sentence contains two or more similar elements, it is stylistically preferable to keep them parallel, no matter how small they are.

 

 

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