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Arts & Letters Daily

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Parallelism - Level III

Parallelism: verbs, phrases, verbals, verbs

Notes

Parallel Words
Examples
Verbs: The contract was signed, sealed, and delivered yesterday.
The words ‘signed’, ‘sealed’, and ‘delivered’ are verbs in the past tense. They are the same grammatical element (verbs) and share the same grammatical form (past tense).

Nouns: The essays, reports, and short stories have been submitted for marking.
The words, ‘essays’, ‘reports’ and ‘short stories’ are nouns that serve the function of compound subjects of the verb. They are the same grammatical element (plural nouns) and share the same grammatical function (subject).

Adjectives: For most students, school is interesting and challenging.
The words ‘interesting’ and ‘challenging’ function as adjectives that modify the noun ‘school’. They are the same grammatical element (adjectives) and share the same grammatical functions (modifiers).

Parallel Prepositional Phrases
Example:
At school, we expect students to have respect for themselves and for others.
The prepositional phrases ‘for themselves’ and ‘for others’ modify the noun ‘respect’. They are prepositional phrases acting as adjectives. They are the same grammatical element (prepositional phrases) and share the same grammatical function (modifiers).

Parallel Verbals

  • Parallel Infinitive
    Example: To win is an emotional high; to lose is a low. (The infinitives ‘to win’ and ‘to lose’ function as subjects of independent clauses.)Example: As a teacher I am prepared to learn more in order to teach better. (The infinitives ‘to learn’ and ‘to teach’ function as adverbs modifying the verb ‘am prepared’.)
  • Parallel Gerunds
    Example: Skiing and skating are favorite outdoor activities in the winter. (‘Skiing’ and ‘skating’ are gerunds that function as subjects of the verb ‘are’.)
  • Parallel Participles
    Example: The teacher complained about his students coming late to class and leaving early. (The words ‘coming’ and ‘leaving’ are present participles, which function as adjectives modifying the adverbs, ‘late’ and ‘early’.)

Parallel Verb/Object
Example: Wind power may replace coal dependent factories, preserve stocks of fossil fuel, and produce cost-effective electricity. (The parallel verb/objects are: ‘replace’ + object ‘factories’, verb ‘preserve’ + object ‘stocks’, and verb ‘produce’ + object ‘electricity’.)

Assignment

Underline the parallel used in the sentences.

Check the kind of parallel used in the sentences.

1. Wind power is still not economical to produce and to market because the initial investment costs are too high.

Words
Prepositional phrases
Verbals
Independent clauses

2. The modern windmills in Denmark are clean, sustainable, and expensive power plants.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

3. The low cost of natural gas and the persistent reluctance of industry to change inhibits the development of wind power.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

4. Skiing and hiking are often sports that people living in the mountains enjoy.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

5. Computers can execute very complex numerical operations but the human brain can solve unique problems better.

Words
Phrases
Verbals
Independent clauses

6. Two primary functions of the brain are to think and to remember.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

7. Uncovering and mapping the functions of the brain are the work of scientists.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

8. There are many factors leading to loss of sleep: working overtime, maintaining a home and raising children.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

9. Distraction, depression and alcoholism all dull concentration.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

10. After the show, Joan and Betty walked home along the busy street.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

11. Scientists are amazed by the complex brain functions of making decisions and solving difficult math problems.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

12. Memories triggered by fear or by anxiety are difficult to forget.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

13. To remember and to forget are two functions of the human brain.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

14. I always remember my keys but I sometimes forget my cell phone when I leave the house in the morning.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

15. Dr. James is pursuing the interesting and challenging field of brain research which is on the cutting edge in medicine.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

16. The meteor created a giant crater and a massive dust storm.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

17. The mandatory use of safe car seats for young children is enforced consistently in most states of the United States and in most provinces of Canada.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

18. Several ways to improve your memory are as follows: practicing self-talk, using post-it notes and developing memory tricks.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

19. You will have more protection from conditions such as dementia if you use your memory and engage in challenging tasks.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

20. The latest high-end computer is extremely complex, but, the human brain is many times more complex.

Words
Phrases other than verbals
Verbals
Independent clauses

Answer Key

Parallelism

1. Wind power is still not economical to produce and to market because the initial investment costs are too high.

Answer – verbals

2. The modern windmills in Denmark are clean, sustainable, and expensive power plants.

Answer –  words

3. The low cost of natural gas and the persistent reluctance of industry to change inhibits the development of wind power.

Answer –    phrases

4. Skiing and hiking are often sports that people living in the mountains enjoy.

Answer – verbals

5. Computers can execute very complex numerical operations but the human brain can solve unique problems better.

Answer –     independent clauses

6. Two primary functions of the brain are to think and to remember.

Answer – verbals

7. Uncovering and mapping the functions of the brain are the work of scientists.

Answer –     verbals

8. There are many factors leading to loss of sleep: working overtime, maintaining a home and raising children.

Answer –  verbals

9. Distraction, depression and alcoholism all dull concentration.

Answer –    words

10. After the show, Joan and Betty walked home along the busy street.

Answer – words

11. Scientists are amazed by the complex brain functions of making decisions and solving difficult math problems.

Answer – verbals

12. Memories triggered by fear or by anxiety are difficult to forget.

Answer –    phrases

13. To remember and to forget are two functions of the human brain.

Answer – verbals

14. I always remember my keys but I sometimes forget my cell phone when I leave the house in the morning.

Answer –    independent clauses

15. Dr. James is pursuing the interesting and challenging field of brain research, which is on the cutting edge in medicine.

Answer – words

16. The meteor created a giant crater and a massive dust storm.

Answer –     phrases

17. The mandatory use of safe car seats for young children is enforced consistently in most states of the United States and in most provinces of Canada.

Answer –  phrases

18. Several ways to improve your memory are as follows: practicing self-talk, using post-it notes and developing memory tricks.

Answer – verbals

19. You will have more protection from conditions such as dementia if you use your memory and engage in challenging tasks.

Answer –    words

20. The latest high-end computer is extremely complex, but, the human brain is many times more complex.

Answer –     independent clauses