Make your sentences clearer with parallel structure

Posted by Manjusha. Filed in English Grammar

We can make our writing clearer and better by using parallel construction. 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.

See also

Common errors with adverbs New!
Common errors with conjunctions New!
Expressing a condition
Expressing a concession or contrast
Common errors with adjectives
Common errors with pronouns
Common errors with nouns and noun phrases
Causative use of Have
Indirect questions