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Grammar Express :: What is parallel construction?

Whenever a sentence contains two or more items linked by "and" or "or," those items are parallel and therefore usually need to be expressed in the same grammatical forms (i.e., nouns, verbs, infinitives, gerunds, adjectives, etc.).

  • Faulty parallel construction:

      To write well and listening well are important communication skills.

    Correct parallel construction:

      Writing well and listening well are important communication skills.
      or
      To write well and to listen well are important communication skills.

    Faulty parallel construction:

      Remind Mark to go to the store, the bank, and see if the laundry is ready.

  • Correct parallel construction:

      Remind Mark to go to the store, deposit his check at the bank, and see if the laundry is ready.

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Johanna Carter
English Faculty
13300 W. Sixth Avenue
Campus Box 20
Lakewood, CO 80228
303.914.6293
johanna.carter@rrcc.edu

You may also email the Writing Center at writing.center@rrcc.edu.