When elements in a sentence are parallel in meaning, they should be parallel in grammatical structure. If you follow this rule, you will write precise and forceful sentences that say what you want to say without ambiguity or confusion. Consider the following examples:
Awkward: People begin to feel as though they have no faces and insignificant. (Adverb clause not parallel to adjective.)
Parallel: People begin to feel faceless and insignificant.
Awkward: As the forest lives, decays, and is devoured by itself, it spawns exotic creatures. (Active verbs not parallel to passive verbs)
Parallel: As the forest lives, decays, and devours itself, it spawns exotic creatures.
Awkward: With the abolition of authority and when the individual is isolated, liberty becomes a universal fetish. (Prepositional phrase not parallel to adverb clause.)
Parallel: With the abolition of authority and with the isolation of the individual, liberty becomes a universal fetish.
Awkward: It is easier to love humanity as a whole than loving one’s neighbors. (Infinitive phrase not parallel to gerund phrase.)
Parallel: It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one’s neighbors.
Awkward: What we say and the things that we do seem somehow out of joint. (Noun clause not parallel to noun modified by adjective clause.) Parallel:
What we say and what we do seem somehow out of joint.
Exercise, Revise the following sentences!
1.The cameraman spent months in primitive places in African heats, in Alaskan blizzards, and where there are jungles in South America.
2. On the machinist’s bench stood a variety of plastic birds, opening and closing their beaks, turning their heads, and their tails flipped up and down.
3. During the Divali festivals, the people like to paint their houses, to buy new clothes, and exchanging gifts, and offering prayers for prosperity.
4. They say that men in Arizona tear down nature’s mountains, run them through mills and smelters, and out of the waste new mountains are built.
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