Questions tagged [parallelism]

Parallelism is about balancing similar words, phrases, or clauses identified by similarity in its grammatical structure. The application of parallelism in sentence construction can sometimes improve writing style, clearness, and readability.

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23
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3answers
7k views

“Nikki's and Alice's X” vs. “Nikki and Alice's X”

Which option is grammatical? There will be readings from Nikki Giovanni’s and Alice Walker’s writings. There will be readings from Nikki Giovanni and Alice Walker's writings. Saying it out ...
17
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7answers
39k views

“You hear but you don't listen” or “You listen but you don't hear”?

My teacher introduced the quote: You look but you don’t see. You hear but you don’t listen. But I also saw books saying: You look but you don’t see. You listen but you don’t hear. ...
14
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2answers
13k views

How to combine in a sentence two verb–preposition pairs that have the same object?

Examples: Data can be imported to and exported from the application. Data can be imported and exported from the application. Data can be imported to the application and exported from it. ...
13
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2answers
8k views

“The X and (the) Y”: When should I repeat the definite article?

I am a bit confused about the rule of setting the definite article in a sentence when it is associated to two nouns. The beginning and end of the channel. The beginning and the end of the ...
13
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7answers
2k views

Is it okay to omit an article after the word “or” because it is redundant? [duplicate]

Example 1: I will bring a pen, eraser, or pencil. Example 2: I will bring a pen, an eraser, or a pencil. Are the above two examples both correct grammatically? If so, which is better to use in ...
9
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2answers
29k views

similar to or similarly to

Using the example "to obtain similar to or similarly to," the latter sounds very strange even though similarly is definitely being used as an adverb. The sentence: "The fragments were obtained similar ...
8
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3answers
16k views

How many articles should go in “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”?

On the very first Christmas card it was written as "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..." http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/christmas-card-sayings-and-phrases.html In Wiktionary that same ...
8
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3answers
16k views

Dropping the second “the” in sentences: the X and the Y vs. the X and Y

Is there any difference between these two examples? 1. (Both) the Senate and the House of Representatives are legislative bodies. 2. (Both) the Senate and House of Representatives are ...
6
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5answers
247 views

“Otherwise” after “where”

Here is a passage in a technical document I'm working on: Simple vs. associative arrays Where you need key-value pairs, use associative arrays. Otherwise, use the simple ones. As I felt, there was ...
6
votes
1answer
692 views

How do I refer to two things together that have different adjectives?

I want to express these two facts: there is a front view; and there is a side view. Which of the following are valid ways of referring to the two views together? a front and side view; a ...
6
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2answers
2k views

What's the rule for writing sentences with parallel clauses?

I've sometimes seen very nicely written sentences that have 2 clauses: the first is a full sentence, while the second, which is supposed to have a similar structure, was shorten into a special ...
6
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3answers
4k views

Use of prepositions in strings of conjunctions

When one wants to list various cases/classes/categories/types of objects in a string of conjunctions, is it preferable (or even mandatory) to keep on using (the same) preposition in front of each one ...
6
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1answer
533 views

Grammar rules for parellelism in comparisons and variations according to verb placement

I'm an academic editor in the field of medicine and I often come across complex comparisons. My question is specifically regarding how the placement of the verb affects the the parallelism of the ...
5
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2answers
174k views

How to use the “not only . . . but also” construction? [closed]

I’m trying to create the following phrase: It is important not only to ____ but also to ____ in general. But the way I’ve written it above doesn’t sound that good to me. Since I’m not a native ...
5
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4answers
693 views

“Politifact was unable to find that report, and neither were we.” [closed]

Politifact was unable to find that report, and neither were we. Is this correct? Shouldn't "were" be "could"?
5
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1answer
162 views

A question about one point of Donald Trump’s speech at Helsinki

At his recent Helsinki summit, while reading from a prepared, written speech, Donald Trump said during his opening remarks and then later tweeted, quoting himself: I would rather take a political ...
5
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3answers
932 views

When Correlative Conjunctions are NOT parallel

Normally, the rule for correlative conjunctions is that the two elements being combined must be parallel in structure. But I believe there are cases this rule is broken, but I'm not sure why they're ...
4
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2answers
1k views

“Lots of milk and sugar” or “lots of milk and (lots) of sugar”

When asking how someone wants their tea, they reply: "lots of milk and sugar". Is that to be interpreted as "Lots of milk and sugar" or "lots of milk and (lots) of sugar" according to the rules of ...
4
votes
3answers
298 views

British and Canadian but not Coloradan?

In the May 11 issue of this year's New Yorker, the ever-excellent Atul Gawande wrote (emphasis mine): Among those which caught my eye: a British case report on the first 3-D-printed hip implanted ...
4
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1answer
982 views

Does an adjective apply to both nouns when joined with 'and'?

Can you grab the blue shirts and socks? Is the above sentence stating that both the shirts and the socks are blue? Or only the shirts? At this stage, I am leaning towards the earlier (only the ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Parallelism with “in order to”

Which of the following is grammatically correct, or are they both gramatically correct? We use this product in order to increase work efficiency and to streamline testing. We use this product in ...
4
votes
1answer
11k views

All vs everything

Are "everything" and "all" interchangeable in these two cases? I'm having a hard time choosing between them. 1) You must tell me all/everything about your holiday. 2)I am having a terrible day. All/...
4
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1answer
982 views

What is the present participle of “stop, drop, and roll”?

In a verb phrase, such as stop, drop, and roll, how do I conjugate this in the present participle? Stopping, dropping, and rolling? Stop, drop, and rolling?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Repeating (or not) “to” in a sentence involving infinitives set in parallel

I googled it but I couldn't find the answer... maybe I didn't seek it in the proper way. My question is if "to" must be repeated in sentences such as the following ones: In the past, women ...
4
votes
3answers
129 views

What is the scope of “more” when making a list of comparatives?

Lets assume I have an object X of which I want to say (1) it's more important than Y and (2) it's smaller than Y (Y is left implicit in the examples.) If I say X is more important before saying X is ...
4
votes
7answers
924 views

Is listen-hear parallel with read-understand?

I'm trying to speak about the nature of music; I want to say that the very nature of the medium of sound, a kind of universal language, makes it impossible not to interpret what is presented to us. (...
4
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1answer
877 views

Can we omit the definite article, *the*, in front of two musical instruments?

My sentence is He plays the piano & the violin. Is it correct to say He plays the piano & violin?
3
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1answer
438 views

Does this sentence have too many subjunctives?

Does this sentence have too many subjunctives? If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge ...
3
votes
3answers
589 views

What sentence parts needs to be repeated here?

What of the following is right? "We need to find out..." "...how to lower the costs or how to produce more." "...how to lower the costs or to produce more." "...how to lower the costs or produce ...
3
votes
3answers
54 views

Describing a requirement for patient autonomy in medical treatment

I am listing a set of desirable characteristics of a medical treatment in a certain setting -- essentially criteria for acceptability. Each section starts with a single word that identifies the ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Is the sentence “The world is getting smaller and international connections tighter.” grammatically correct?

Is following sentence grammatically correct? The world is getting smaller and international connections tighter. What kind of construct is this? Parallel structure?
3
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1answer
959 views

“Parallel Structure” in Sentences

Regarding sentences, are there rules that govern what gets called "parallel structure", or is it simply a descriptive term?
3
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1answer
69 views

Factoring a for in “of” expressions [closed]

I am wondering if I can factor a word in the following expression: According to the definition of A, definition of B, and definition of C, ... and write it briefly as According to the definition of ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Faulty Parallelism3: to 'while' or not to 'while'

The problem sentence: I have always liked thinking through complicated problems to find creative solutions, be they in a mathematics class or while helping a friend. I wrote this sentence for ...
3
votes
1answer
370 views

Is it recommended to include a preposition when listing several components of a sentence in parallel?

Consider the sample sentence below (quoted from a manual Here): When you evaluate a list, the Lisp interpreter looks at the first symbol in the list and then at the function definition bound to ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Definite article, repetition in lists

Which would be correct? The fridge, the shelves, the walls, the floor, and John himself, were all covered in foam. The fridge, shelves, walls, floor, and John himself, were all covered in foam....
2
votes
3answers
659 views

Is it “thousands of postmen and women” or “thousands of postmen and -women”?

Is it "thousands of postmen and women" or "thousands of postmen and -women"? Is the use of a hyphen correct in the latter case?
2
votes
4answers
14k views

Use of the word “that” in formal tone, technical writing

I need help settling a disagreement. I have read many posts about the word "that" — probably too many, since I have gotten myself confused! In this first example, there are two subordinate clauses, ...
2
votes
2answers
611 views

Proper usage of pronouns

As an ESL student, sometimes I wonder whether I use too many pronouns. For example: She grabbed her purse, she took some money and then she went to buy some groceries. After that she returned ...
2
votes
3answers
225 views

Confusion on listing in sentences

"I hate hard candy and olives." When someone says that, does it mean they hate candy and olives that are both hard, or hard candy and non-hard olives? If the latter, then wouldn't "I hate olives and ...
2
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3answers
12k views

“To do this or do that” or “to do this or *to* do that”?

I saw on the bottom of an email: To change your email preferences or unsubscribe from certain messages, click here. Is that correct or should it be: To change your email preferences or to ...
2
votes
2answers
847 views

Does a helping verb have to be followed by the main verb to form a complete sentence?

A friend wrote: "I just feel that now is a good time to reiterate that pluralization does not require an apostrophe." In reply I wrote: Sometimes it does. "Mind your Ps and Qs" doesn't need them; ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Preposition use: multiple prepositions to the same noun [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to combine in a sentence two verb + preposition pairs that have the same object? Which of the following sentences is correct? I listen, go, read and learn from ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Which verb forms are grammatically correct for this list of actions?

I've been going back and forth between a coworker over which of the following is correct and I thought that maybe this SE could help. I have an application with the following message: The X ...
2
votes
1answer
711 views

Parallelism in “whether… or not” sentence

We have an exercise on parallelism involving rewriting sentences correctly; there's this one sentence I'm unsure as how to rewrite. Mother cannot decide whether she will allow Cecil to attend the ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Is “offer something someone” without “to” in between correct?

I interpret the latter part of the following sentence to mean "and are quite unprepared to offer the priority seats to those whom the seats are meant for." If this is correct, "to" seems to be missing ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Parallelism of as…as

For these two sentences, why do we need to use "he was" and "it is"? What two things are being compared in these sentences? Henry was almost as famous a philosopher as he was a poet. It is as ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What is the term for deliberately forcing a not-quite-grammatical parallelism?

There is a fairly common figure of speech where one deliberately imposes a parallel structure that is not quite grammatical. For instance, consider the question "Is A less, equal, or greater than B?" ...
2
votes
1answer
779 views

When using a verb that has a noun form with a gerund, do you use the gerund or the noun?

This is the sentence in question: The last time he slept in a room by himself must have been that melancholy week between Stave’s passing and my arriving. Now, in the above sentence, the ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

Do both sides of the conjunction need to align with the next part of the sentence?

If someone can improve my title, please do. I seem to be missing some vocabulary. I was writing an SO answer and ran into something that has always bothered me. Consider the following sentence: ...