Parallel Structures

Parallel construction

Your writing will be clearer if you use parallel construction. By parallel construction, we mean words or expressions of similar form.

Consider the sentence given below.

The above sentence does not follow parallel construction. To make it parallel, change the infinitive (to play) into –ing form.

More examples are given below.

When you list items, make sure that they are in similar form.

Here are some tips for ensuring that your sentences have parallel structure.

When listing non-finite verbs after a main verb, keep them in the same form. For example, if you use infinitives, stick to them. If you use gerunds, stick to them. Don’t put a gerund after an infinitive or an infinitive after a gerund although it is possible in a few cases.

Keep verbs in the same tense. If you begin writing in the past tense, don’t change to the present.

Don’t inject an adjective into a list of adverbs. Similarly, don’t add an adverb into a list of adjectives.