Reference and Education

What Is Parallel Construction? Different Types and Rules to Follow

Parallel construction is applied to ensure the right grammatical structuring in text. It is also termed parallelism. In this aspect, you’re supposed to keep a logical sequence in your elements. It can be an idea, word, or clause. Furthermore, phrases also come under these elements. And all of these elements must be parallel to each other. The purpose of this parallelism is to maintain the right flow of writing. It also helps a lot in maintaining clarity within the text. A non-parallel text always confuses the reader. And this confusion exhausts the reader which further breaks the flow of reading. To avoid this disruption, parallel construction is applied in the different types of knowledge based texts.

Presentation Of Content

There’s no doubt that quality content is the most important thing in writing. But its presentation has the same level of importance. You need to be very conscious of data, or content’s presentation. And for this, you have to ensure logical flow as well. You also have to be careful about formal, and informal writing tones. The tone of writing is selected as per the audience. For example, you need to address your fellows in your writing. In this situation, it is better to use an informal tone. This way, you can engage your audience in a good way. On the other hand, if your audience includes professional staff, you’ll have to ensure a formal tone. For example, in official emails, you go for a formal writing tone. And once you start using one format, you can use the same format in the whole writing. The same pattern in writing can be ensured by using coordinating conjunction. For example, ‘and’, and ‘or’.

Types, and Rules to Follow

Use of verb and Noun

Harry likes bananas, mango, and to eat apples. (Wrong)

You can see that this sentence does not have parallel construction. Here the use of verb and noun is not correct. This is because it makes sentences difficult to understand. Let’s amend it through the following examples;

  • Harry likes bananas, mango, and apple. (right)
  • Harry likes to eat bananas, to eat mango, and to eat apples. (right)
  • Harry likes to eat bananas, mango, and apple. (right)

In all three examples, you can see a smooth flow. And all of the three forms are easy to understand as well. The same is the purpose of parallel construction.

Use Of Preposition

The entry tests were taking place in the UK, the US, and Russia. (Wrong)

This is again a non-paralleled structure of the text. Look at the following structure, and find the difference of clarity in the text;

  • The entry tests were taking place in the UK, US, and Russia. (right)
  • The entry tests were taking place in the UK, in the US, and in Russia. (right)

In the first sentence, the repeated preposition is removed. Whereas in the second sentence, the repeated preposition is ensured. A simple point is that if you’re using a preposition, use it in each piece of the sentence. Or if you don’t want to use the repeated preposition, then use it just once.

Use Of ‘Correlative Expressions’

In parallel construction, correlative expressions include the following;

  • Both, and
  • Not only, but also
  • Either, or
  • Neither, nor

It means that if you’re using ‘both’ in your sentence, you are supposed to use ‘and’ in the same sentence as well. Same as use of ‘not only’ is followed by ‘but also, and so on. Let’s understand it with the help of some examples;

This time is not for eating, but for playing. (Wrong)

  • This time is not for eating, but for playing. (right)

The documentary was funny to watch and for discussing (wrong)

  • The documentary was funny both to watch and to discuss. (right)

Here you can see the right use of ‘both’, and ‘and’;

My protests are the injustice of the scheme and that it is unlawful. (Wrong)

  • My protests are that the scheme is unjust, and that is unlawful. (right)

The use of “Between”, and “And” is given below;

She explained the difference between the weather in Malaysia in the winter and how hot it is in summer. (Wrong)

  • She explained the difference between the weather in Malaysia in the winter and the weather in Malaysia in the summer. (right)

Use of “Neither” and “Nor”; “Either” and “Or” is also given over here;

Either my sister will call me or either my brother. (Wrong)

  • Either my sister or my brother will call. (right)

Neither the pen nor my notebook is here. (Wrong)

  • Neither the pen nor the notebook is here. (right)

So the difference between parallel construction sentences and non-parallel construction is clear within each of the examples. All these are some basic rules of parallel construction. You can learn all these types and rules in a very short time. You just have to focus on the logical linkage for doing this.

Importance Of Parallel Construction

Parallel construction has common use in assignment writing as it helps in the following aspects;

  • Uniformity in writing.
  • Consistency in writing.
  • Makes writing easy to understand.
  • Reduces the rate of grammatical mistakes.
  • Ensures clarity in writing.
  • The right structure of the text.
  • Creates logical flow in different pieces.
  • Ensures the right use of subject, and object.

For every type of writing, its readability matters a lot. The fewer readability scores you get, the better it will be. And you can see more readability scores in sentences with non-parallel construction. As a student or writer, the right use of parallel construction is always necessary. If you are a student, non-parallel construction can lead you to low grades and a bad reputation in the class. And if you are a writer, you’ll lose credibility because of this aspect. Many websites have a team of experts. This team assists the others in terms of writing. You can read the free sample on such websites. In those samples, you will see how expert writers have properly ensured parallel construction within different types of texts.

Final Thoughts

Any writing with non-parallel construction simply causes wastage of time and effort. At the university level, every student has to conduct research on a particular topic. After research, students write the dissertation. That dissertation demands parallel construction within your writing. If you fail to do so, the advisor will not accept your work. So you can understand how important it is to learn about parallel construction in general.

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