September 13, 2015

Parallelism for technical writer

Definition of parallelism

The balance between two or more similar words, phrases or clauses is called parallelism in grammar. Parallelism is also called parallel structure or parallel construction. Parallel construction prevents awkwardness, promotes clarity and improves writing style and readability.

Examples:

  • Debjani likes playing the pianothe trumpet and play the guitarfalse
    Debjani likes the pianothe trumpet and the guitar.true
    Debjani likes playing the pianothe trumpet and the guitar.true
  • She played basketball, had a shower and gone to school.false
    She played basketball, had a shower and went to schooltrue
  • You can apply to the job by filling this form or apply by telephone.false
    You can apply to the job by filling this form or you can apply by telephone.true

Rules of parallelism

  1. Parallelism is used to balance nouns with nouns, prepositional phrases with prepositional phrases, participles with participles, infinitives with infinitives, clauses with clauses.
  2. Parallelism is used with elements joined by coordinating conjunctions.
    Shipra likes cooking and to read.false
    Shipra likes cooking and reading.true
  3. Parallelism is used with elements in lists or in a series.
    This task can be done individuallyin pairs, or can be done in groups of fourfalse
    This task can be done individuallyin pairs, or in groups of four.true
  4. Parallelism is used with elements being compared.
    Navtez is mad about watching TV more than to read a book.false
    Navtez is mad about watching TV more than reading a booktrue
  5. Parallelism is used with elements joined by a linking verb or a form of be
    To learn is understanding the worldfalse
    To learn is to understand the worldtrue
  6. Parallelism is used with elements joined by linking words.
    Rahul not only wants his students to keep quiet but also to do the taskfalse
    Rahul wants his students not only to keep quiet but also to do the task.true

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