I know for sure that the following 3 sentences are grammatically correct since I took them from the grammar book:
I prefer jumping to running.
I prefer jumping rather than running.
I prefer to jump rather than run.

Based on this I think it is correct to say as well: I prefer to jump rather than running.

My question is this 4th sentence correct?

  • Why do you think it is correct to mix the tenses, contrary to the examples? Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 10:05
  • Well. Those first 3 sentences come from the grammar book so this is a question to the author. what about the 4th one. Is it correct? Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 10:15

1 Answer 1


No, this does not preserve parallelism, which violates the Gricean maxim of manner (be as clear and as straightforward as possible) even if it is not actually ungrammatical.

From Evergreen.edu:

Parallel structure adds both clout and clarity to your writing. When you use parallel structure, you increase the readability of your writing by creating word patterns readers can follow easily.

Understanding Parallel Structure Parallel structure (also called parallelism) is the repetition of a chosen grammatical form within a sentence. By making each compared item or idea in your sentence follow the same grammatical pattern, you create a parallel construction.


  • Not Parallel: Ellen likes hiking, the rodeo, and to take afternoon naps.
  • Parallel: Ellen likes hiking, attending the rodeo, and taking afternoon naps.


  • Ellen likes to hike, attend the rodeo, and take afternoon naps.


  • Thanks Edwin. I think I've caugth it. PS. I can say: I prefer cars to bikes. But can I say: I prefer cars rather than bikes? Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 10:18
  • nohat gives sound advice here Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 13:08

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