Is the following sentence parallel? "The program commenced with the speaker explaining the definition of recollection, which means reuniting with God and that we need to have faith in Him."

If I added another gerund phrase in the sentence and said, "which means reuniting with God, admiring Him, and that we need to have faith in Him." the sentence would sound totally wrong in contrast to the first sentence that sounded right.

So is it allowed to not follow the parallelism rule when you're connecting only 2 ideas?

  • The way I read the first sentence, the program commenced with a definition, and then it continued with an imperative. But I think you are intending to conjoin the imperative with the definition. To do that, you need to rework the last phrase into something other than an imperative. Solve the grammar (and punctuation?) issues and I think the parallelism will take care of itself.
    – Phil Sweet
    Apr 13 '16 at 1:53
  • perhaps adding the word implies? "[...] with God, and implies that we need [...]"
    – Phil Sweet
    Apr 13 '16 at 2:01
  • I wouldn't say that the clause is imperative. I'd say it's one of the two definitions that recollection means. If I separate the two and form sentences of their own, one would be "[...] which means reuniting with God" and the other would be "[...] which means that we need to have faith in Him."
    – Wuvex
    Apr 13 '16 at 5:17
  • There is parallelism in the sentence, but not where you think. The speaker explains two things: (1) the definition of recollection (which means reuniting with God), and (2) that we need to have faith in Him. The comma after "recollection" introduces a parenthetical expression in which is found the definition of recollection. There should be a comma after "God" to terminate the parenthetical expression.
    – MetaEd
    Jul 11 '16 at 22:16

Parallelism works for two ideas as well as for more than two (train tracks are parallel, after all, and there are just two of those). I don't know what "recollection" means in this context, but, just dealing with the words you have provided, the sentence would be better written which means reuniting with God and needing to have faith in Him or which means reuniting with God and having faith in Him.

  • What about the following sentence: "It is difficult to juggle school and working out." Is the sentence parallel given that both school and working out are nouns? Or should I say, "going to school and working out"?
    – Wuvex
    Apr 13 '16 at 4:59
  • I would say no. "Going to school and working out" is good, or "school and exercise."
    – user66965
    Apr 13 '16 at 14:04

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