What is the definition of parallel sentence?

Parallel sentence, also known as parallel structure, is the repetition of a chosen grammatical form within a sentence.

Parallel structure is achieved by making each compared/listed item or idea in your sentence follow the same grammatical pattern.

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Word Form

  • Noun/Pronoun — Noun/Pronoun
  • Adjective –Adjective
  • Verb — Verb (must be parallel in tense, form, number)
  • Adverb — Adverb

Examples: She is my friend and mentor . (wrong: She is my friend and mentors me.)

John Mark is smart and diligent . (wrong: John Mark is smart and works hard.)

The children ran and hid behind the tree. (wrong: The children ran and were hiding behind the tree.)

You cannot be here and there at the same time. (wrong: You cannot be here and go there at the same time.)

Phrase Form

  • Participial Phrase — Participial Phrase
  • Prepositional Phrase — Prepositional Phrase
  • Verb Phrase — Verb Phrase
  • Infinitive Phrase — Infinitive Phrase
  • Gerund Phrase — Gerund Phrase

Examples:

Wearing a dark jacket and hiding in the shadows , the man sneaked into the building. (wrong: Wearing a dark jacket and to hide behind the shadows , the man sneaked into the building.)

You can choose to fail or to succeed . (wrong: You can choose to fail or be successful .)

Clause Form

Examples:

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who cheat and those who are cheated .

I admire people whose minds are active and whose hearts are pure.

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