Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Parallel structures Part B — Using 'the' in parallel constructions
This is the second part in a five part series about using parallel structures. This part focuses on the user of ‘the in parallel constructions.
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.
An article or a preposition applying to all the members of a series of terms must be used:
- only before the first term, or
- repeated before each term.
Here is an example:
Incorrect: We analyzed the French, the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese populations.
English corrected A: We analyzed the French, the Italian, the Spanish, and the Portuguese populations.
English corrected B: We analyzed the French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese populations.
Explanation: The first two items in the incorrect example use 'the' before the terms, but the last two items do not. This is uncomfortable for the reader. In the Correct A, every item in the list uses 'the'. In the Correct B sentence, 'the' is used at the start of the list only.
Here is another example:
Incorrect: One can visit Tokyo in spring, summer, or in winter.
English corrected A: One can visit Tokyo in spring, summer, or winter.
English corrected B: One can visit Tokyo in spring, in summer, or in winter.
Download Tip Here: Parallel structures Part B — Using 'the' in parallel constructions
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