Parallel structure is when you balance the grammatical structures of words, clauses, sentences, or phrases in your writing.
They are important for any kind of writing and speaking in order to maintain coherency. In this particular lesson we'll look at parallel words and phrases.
We make words or phrases parallel when we are writing things in a list or series, and each word must have the same grammatical form.
The coordinating conjunction ‘and’ is usually used to connect the parallel items, but other coordinating conjunctions such as ‘or’ and ‘nor’ may be used.
Correlative conjunctions such as 'both/and', 'neither/nor' and 'whether/or' are also used as connectors.
If you are more advanced, you may want to learn about some more complex parallel structures.
Now practice what you have learned in this parallel structure quiz.
Click the show / hide link below to see a full text of the parallel structure exercise answers.
1. The scenery was spectacular, exciting, and looked beautiful - incorrect
The scenery was spectacular, exciting, and beautiful.
2. They studied quickly, quietly, and carefully - correct
3. To get the score you want in IELTS quickly you must both learn fast and work hard - correct
4. I like neither to wash up dishes nor mopping the floor - incorrect
I like neither to wash up dishes nor to mop the floor / I like neither washing up dishes nor mopping the floor
5. She walked out of the changing rooms, climbed onto the diving board, and into the swimming pool - incorrect
She walked out of the changing rooms, climbed onto the diving board, and jumped into the swimming pool
6. He cleaned under the sink and behind the cooker - correct
7. I'll return in June, July or in August - incorrect
I'll return in June, July or August
8. I usually spend my evenings watching TV and surfing the internet - correct
9. The manager did not like one of his employees because he always arrived late for work, made mistakes in his duties, completed projects carelessly, and his motivation was low - incorrect
The manager did not like one of his employees because he always arrived late for work, made mistakes in his duties, completed projects carelessly, and lacked motivation.
10. It was both a long meeting and very boring - incorrect
It was both a long meeting and a boring meeting / The meeting was both long and boring
11. You must either arrive on time or not come at all - correct
12. For him, success is defined not by wealth but by how happy you are - incorrect
For him, success is defined not by wealth but by happiness.
13. The salad was fresh, crisp, and tasted delicious - incorrect
The salad was fresh, crisp, and delicious
14. He was not sure whether to move to Australia or stay in Japan - correct
15. The quarter finals involves the English, the Spanish, French, and Germans - incorrect
The quarter finals involves the English, the Spanish, the French, and the Germans
Take another parallel structure quiz
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