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I need to write a list that I cannot find a great parallel construction for because certain items in the list use "of" and one uses "to".

The sentence as originally written:

Ratification, acceptance and approval of a treaty or accession to it shall be conducted when it is required by the treaty.

I've been contemplating the following re-write:

Ratification of, acceptance of, approval of, or accession to a treaty shall be conducted when required by the treaty.

Or:

A treaty shall be ratified, accepted, approved, or acceded to by the State when the treaty so requires.

Any other ideas on how to construct this sentence in a readable and grammatically correct way?

EDIT: I noticed the question on passive voice recently posted as well. The third example would be a case where passive voice is arguably preferable as the emphasis of this sentence should be the treaty and not the State.

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Your third example is the most succinct, and probably the most correct, way of expressing that thought. If you could complete the original sentence, that might be helpful for readers trying to come up with suggestions. –  Jimi Oke Dec 20 '10 at 7:00
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1 Answer 1

It would be helpful to have a little more of the rest of the sentence (at least the subject of it), but:

The [subject-of-the-sentence] shall only ratify, accept or approve a treaty, or accede to a treaty, ...


In light of the edit to the question:

The State shall ratify, accept or approve a treaty, or accede to it, when necessary.

Both of these are using the active voice - the subject of the sentence (the State) actively doing something.

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I was concerned about the un-parallel construction of the list, and it struck me as a bit francophone, but perhaps I need to let that go. Thanks for the suggestion. –  Rosey28 Dec 20 '10 at 7:36
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