Chapter 9-8-1: Parallelism

What is "parallelism?"

In simple terms, parallelism (or parallel construction or parallel structure) simply means that words, phrases, clauses, and infinitives in a sentence that share a similar function should also share a common grammatical format. Words must embrace balance and equality, and they must make sense in time and space. Advanced writers take this one step further to ensure that text within a sentence is similar in its sound, meaning, or meter.


Example (incorrect): Not only will pedestrians become more insensitive, they will become passive, act impolitely, and egocentric.


Example (correct): Not only will pedestrians become more insensitive, they will become passive, impolite, and egocentric.




Why use parallelism?

Using parallelism will make your sentences clever, coherent, and consistent.



How can parallelism be used?

Consider the following eight methods that can be used to introduce parallelism into writing. The remainder of this section will then examine each method in some detail:

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