Uni-edit English Writing TIP003e: Parallel structures Part E — Making comparisons | Uni-edit.net

Uni-edit English Writing TIP003e: Parallel structures Part E — Making comparisons

Level of difficulty: Advanced

Parallel structures Part E — Making comparisons

This is the final part in a five part series about using parallel structures. This part provides more examples regarding comparisons in 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.

Incorrect: He wanted three things out of college: to learn a skill, to make good friends, and learning about life.
English corrected: He wanted three things out of college: to learn a skill, to make good friends, and to learn about life.

Explanation: One way to think about parallel structures is to separate each item of the list into its own sentence. In this example, the correct sentence can be separated as:

  • He wanted to learn a skill
  • He wanted to make good friends
  • He wanted to learn about life.

In the incorrect example, the last item of the list would be separated as “He wanted learning about life”. This is grammatically incorrect and so the whole parallel structure is incorrect.

Below is another example:

Incorrect: We found the film repulsive, offensive, and we thought it was embarrassing.
English corrected: We found the film repulsive, offensive, and embarrassing.

Below is another example:

Incorrect: Coach Espinoza was a brilliant strategist, a caring mentor, and friend.
English corrected: Coach Espinoza was a brilliant strategist, a caring mentor, and a wise friend.

Below is another example:

Incorrect: Professor Ali rewarded his students for their hard work on the final project and going beyond the call of duty.
English corrected: Professor Ali rewarded his students for working hard on the final project and going beyond the call of duty.

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