Parallel structure, or parallelism, way using the same pattern of words to show that two or an ext words or principles are of equal importance. Words and phrases within a sentence have to not only match in structure, but likewise in tense. Writers use parallel framework to add clarity to your writing, do it less complicated to understand and show that their composing is structurally and grammatically correct. Explore parallel structure to far better understand the concept.



The problematic areas are italicized below.

Ashley likes to ski, to swim and jump. (There requirements to be a "to" in between "and" and "jump," to be parallel with the other items. )She likes dancing and to sing songs. (This should pair "to dance" v "to sing" so the infinitive kind is provided throughout the sentence.)

Parallel framework With -ing Endings

Be consistent and also use parallel structure with native that finish in -ing.


The bolder words indicate that parallel building and construction is supplied correctly.

Joe likes running, walking and being active.We enjoy relaxing and also sitting out in the sun.

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The words that have to be parallel but aren"t are shown in italics here.

Joe likes running, walking and also outdoor activities. ("Running" and also "walking" space parallel with each other, yet "outdoor activities" is no parallel. Usage "participating in outdoor activities" or similar.)We reap relaxing and like come sit out in the sun. (The italicized phrases space not parallel; they must both include verbs that end in -ing.)


The bold terms illustrate parallel construction between the clauses.

The teacher told lock that they should study and that they must practice your words every night. My parents said get a good education and also do not clear up for less.


In this, the clauses execute not illustrate parallel construction. The problem wording is highlighted.

The teacher told lock to research and that they need to practice your words every night. (This sentence must either include "that they" in both clauses, favor the correct instance above, or that should incorporate the indigenous "said" between "that" and "they.")My parents stated to get a great education and not settle for less. (Here, the word "to" should be included before "not" in the italicized text.)

Parallel framework in Lists through Colons

When you have items ~ above a list following a colon, the items need to all be in the same kind in stimulate to protect against a parallel structure error.


Wording that shows parallel construction in these instances is bold.

The following activities can be done at the mall: buying groceries, eating lunch and also paying bills.In her bedroom, girlfriend will find the following: a bed, a closet and also a desk.


The problem wording in these is highlighted in italics.

The following tasks can be done at the mall: buying groceries, eating lunch and bill payment. ("Bill payment" must be created as "paying bills" in order to display parallel construction.)In your bedroom, girlfriend will discover the following: a bed, a closet and, sitting in ~ a desk. (You shouldn"t list two nouns with an task in this kind of list. It can read, "a bed, a closet, and also a workdesk if that is what the writer means. If the writer wants to define someone sit at a desk, that have to be component of a new sentence. )

Parallel structure in various other Lists

Even as soon as a colon isn"t offered to introduce a list, parallel building is important.


The terms that kind parallel framework in these sentences are bold.

Mary want to make certain that she made she presentation creatively, effectively and persuasively.Tim was taken into consideration to it is in a an excellent employee due to the fact that he was always ~ above time, he was very motivated and also he was a an excellent leader.


Parallel constructor errors room italicized.

Mary want to make sure she made she presentation creatively, effectively and persuaded others.

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("Persuaded others" is no parallel with the various other list items.)Tim was thought about to it is in a good employee because he was always on time, he was very motivated and also led the team well. ("Led the team well" is no parallel through the various other list items.)

Parallel framework in Verb Tense

Keep in mind the parallel structure must be used when it comes to verb tense. Her verb tense should constantly match.


The bold words in these instances are all past tense, which way they are instances of parallel construction.

She wrote a letter and mailed it come the school.Yesterday we watched a movie, played video clip games and made pizza.


The listed below mix tenses. The problematic wording is italicized.

She writes a letter and also mailed it come the school. (This mixes present and also past tense; both words must be the very same tense.)Yesterday us watched a movie, play video games and also made pizza. ("Watched" and "made" are previous tense, however "play" is current tense. It must be "played" because the sentence states this took location in the past.)

The importance of Parallel Structure

Parallel structure provides circulation in a sentence. The keeps your creating balanced and makes it much easier to read. It additionally shows that concepts are of same importance. Errors in parallel structure have the right to make your composing sound strange come listeners. Plenty of tests, including the SAT, will call for you to recognize parallel structure errors as a way of experimentation your creating abilities. Come further expand your knowledge about parallel structure in writing, evaluation these instances of parallelism in literature and rhetoric.