Uni-Edit 写作技巧 003A:平行结构 Part A- 什么是平行结构? | Uni-edit.net

Uni-Edit 写作技巧 003A:平行结构 Part A- 什么是平行结构?

难度:中级

平行结构系列共有五部分,介绍的是英文中的平行结构。

征文(Uni-edit)的编辑们在编辑英文稿件时,常常需要修改句子,使其符合平行结构的用法。
正确使用平行结构会使文章清楚易懂。无论读者是英语母语人士还是非母语人士,平行结构有助于读者理解文意。

“平行”是方向相同的意思。我们说两条路平行,就是说它们的方向一致。在语言应用中,平行结构意味着使用相同的句型结构和形式;在写作中使用平行结构,对清楚表达文意来说非常重要。使用平行结构写作,就是说内容和功能类似的词汇,应该使用类似的表达方式。

类似的句型结构和形式有助于读者更快地识别出内容和功能上的相似性,因此,句中所有词、短语或从句,都需要平行。

下面我们来看看一些常见的用法以及错误:
错误:The new regulations could cause problems for both the winners and for those who lose.  
正确:The new regulations could cause problems for both winners and losers.
(新条例可能对赢家和输家都造成困扰。)

解释:以上错误的例句中,在both之后的词是“the winners ”和”those who lose”,但这两个词用了不同的句型结构,会让读者产生困惑。在正确的例子里,“winner”和“ losers”则是相同的结构,很容易让读者理解。

以下是另一个例子:
错误:Formerly, science was taught by the textbook method, while now the laboratory method is employed.
正确:Formerly, science was taught by the textbook method; now it is taught by the laboratory method.
(以前,科学是通过教科书传授,而现在则是通过实验。)

解释:错误的例子让人感觉作者好像犹豫不决,不会或不敢使用同一种表达方式。而正确的例子则显示出作者知道该使用哪一种句子结构。在此例句中, “the...method” 就是重复的平行结构,虽然重复,但是句子更加清楚易懂。

再来一个例子:
错误:The doctor recommended a daily intake of 5 mg antibiotic, changing the diet plan, and exercising.
正确:The doctor recommended a daily intake of 5 mg antibiotic, a change in diet, and regular exercise.
(医生建议每天服用5毫克抗生素,改变饮食,多运动。)

另一个例子:
错误:The eruption was slow, continued sporadically, and ended in a catastrophe.
正确:The eruption began slowly, continued sporadically, and ended catastrophically.
(火山开始以缓慢的速度喷发,然后间歇性的持续,最后灾难性的大爆发。)

解释:由于错误的句子使用了不同的结构,所以连贯性差。正确的例子中,一致、重复地使用副词(即 “slowly”, “sporadically,” “catastrophically”)让句子更容易被理解,同时也让句子读起来有韵律感,感觉更顺畅。

最后一个例子:
错误:My professor has wit, charm, and she has an extremely pleasant personality.
正确:My professor has wit, charm, and a pleasing personality.
(我的教授不仅睿智、有魅力且而且性格开朗。)

平行结构有什么优点?
平行结构尤其有助于进行详细的描述和做比较, 可以让内容更加清楚易懂。例如, 如果用同样的顺序描述岩石里的不同矿物质的特征(如丰度,粒度,颗粒外貌),我们就可以使用平行结构,而不用一直重复每种特征的名称,这样的写作方法有助于读者更容易的吸收信息。平行结构也可以用在段落与段落之间, 尤其在写科研论文时,我们可以将结果讨论部分以平行结构的方式呈现。

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Uni-edit English Writing Tip: Parallel Structures Part A – What are they?

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

This is a five part series about using parallel structures.

While editing English manuscripts, Uni-edit editors often need to correct sentences for correct usage of parallel structures. Correct use of parallel structures makes the writing easier to read and easier to understand for native-speakers of English and for non-native speakers of English.

The word 'parallel' means in the same direction. Two roads are parallel if they run in the same direction. In language, a parallel structure means the words are assembled using the same form. In language, using parallel structures is critical for clear writing. To write using parallel structures means that expressions of similar content and function should be outwardly similar.

The similarity of form enables the reader to recognize more readily the similarity of content and function. All items, phrases, or clauses used in a sentence should be parallel.


Incorrect: The new regulations could cause problems for both the winners and for those who lose.
English corrected: The new regulations could cause problems for both winners and losers.

Explanation: In the incorrect sentence, the items after 'both' are 'the winners' and 'those who lose'; but, these phrases have different structures. This confuses the reader. In the correct sentence, 'winners' and 'losers' have the same structure. This is much easier to read.

Here is another example:

Incorrect: Formerly, science was taught by the textbook method, while now the laboratory method is employed.
English corrected: Formerly, science was taught by the textbook method; now it is taught by the laboratory method.

Explanation: The incorrect sentence gives the impression that the writer is undecided or timid; he seems unable or afraid to choose one form of expression and hold to it. The correct sentence shows that the writer made a choice on how to structure the sentence. The repeated structure is 'the…method'. Although repetitive, the parallel structure makes the sentence easier to understand.

Here is another example:

Incorrect: The doctor recommended a daily intake of 5 mg antibiotic, changing the diet plan, and exercising.

English corrected: The doctor recommended a daily intake of 5 mg antibiotic, a change in diet, and regular exercise.

And here is another example:

Incorrect: The eruption was slow, continued sporadically, and ended in a catastrophe.
English corrected: The eruption began slowly, continued sporadically, and ended catastrophically.

Explanation: The incorrect sentence seems disjointed as different structures are used. In the correct sentence, the consistent and repetitive use of adverbs (that is, slowly, sporadically, catastrophically) makes it much easier to understand. This also aids the flow of the sentence.


Here is another example:

Incorrect: My professor has wit, charm, and she has an extremely pleasant personality.
English corrected: My professor has wit, charm, and a pleasing personality.

How are parallel structures useful?

Parallel structure is especially useful for making detailed descriptions and comparisons more readable. For example, if the different minerals in a rock are always described with their features (such as modal abundance, grain size, and habit) in the same order, then parallel structures can be used to describe the features of each rock without repeating the same names for each feature. This allows readers to assimilate the information more easily. It may be helpful to construct successive paragraphs in parallel, especially when discussing results in a research paper.

END OF TIP