Exercises on Parallelism in Sentences

Parallelism (or parallel structure) in sentences means putting two or more similarly-placed (or equal) elements in the same grammatical form. Example:

Rich, through their abundant resources, can get favourable decisions by influencing decision makers, hiring the best lawyers, and delaying the case if it suits them.

More resources on parallelism in sentences:

Which sentence contains parallel structure and which doesn’t?

In the following three exercises, identify whether a sentence contains parallel structure or not. If not, try making the sentence parallel. Often, there will be more than one way to make a sentence parallel, but shorter the answer the better it is.

(Note: Parallel elements in a sentence have been underlined in all the answers.)

Exercise 1

1. Jack washed his shirts, shorts, and washed his pants.

2. I want to find a gym that is not only close to my apartment but also I want to find a cheap one.

3. Either you must prove your point or accept ours.

4. Without it, communication can turn into a ramble, become repetitive, and lose direction.

5. I love most of the subjects I’ve in my class, but I especially love math, the way I can finish its exercises faster than my classmates, and mixing chemicals in the chemistry lab.

Answers to Exercise 1

1. Not parallel

Jack washed his shirtsshorts, and pants.

2. Not parallel

I want to find a gym that is not only close to my apartment but also affordable. [Two adjective phrases]

3. Not parallel

You must either prove your point or accept ours.

4. Parallel

Without it, communication can turn into a ramblebecome repetitive, and lose direction. [Modifiers such as even don’t really disturb parallelism.]

5. Not parallel

I love most of the subjects I’ve in my class, but I especially love maththe speed with which I complete its exercises, which is faster than the speed of my classmates, and mixing chemicals in the chemistry lab. [Note that the which relative clause just adds extra information to complete the meaning. Mixing, a gerund, is acting as a noun.]

Exercise 2

1. They are living beings first and animals second.

2. Though targeting and tailoring these subsidies will be challenging, the government could consider a subsidy that is linked to some performance, either exports or on higher productivity growth.

3. Your housing costs include your mortgage payments, paying for property taxes and maintenance, cleaning, furniture, and insurance.

4. Numerous species of fauna have fallen prey to not only poaching for commercial and medicinal reasons but also to deforestation.

5. To remain in the race of technological advancement, it is important for the government to provide affordable and accessible internet service, provide access to electronic payment systems, develop human capital, and control misuse of technology.

Answers to Exercise 2

1. Parallel

They are living beings first and animals second.

2. Not parallel

Though targeting and tailoring these subsidies will be challenging, the government could consider a subsidy that is linked to some performance, either exports or higher productivity growth.

3. Not parallel

Your housing costs include your mortgage paymentsproperty taxesmaintenancecleaningfurniture, and insuranceSource

4. Not parallel

Numerous species of fauna have fallen prey to not only poaching for commercial and medicinal reasons but also deforestation. [Just a to removed. That’s it. Note that poaching, a gerund, is acting as a noun here.]

5. Parallel

To remain in the race of technological advancement, it is important for the government to provide affordable and accessible internet serviceprovide access to electronic payment systemsdevelop human capital, and control misuse of technology.

Exercise 3

1. John likes traveling, listening to music, reading novels, and to play tennis.

2. Harvesting rain water and treating industrial waste will reduce pollution and help plants and animals recuperate.

3. From one direction came the mob, and the police came from the other.

4. I used to walk in front of the mirror wearing fashionable clothes and posing stylishly.

5. It is true that I loaned you $340 and the payment was made last week.

Answers to Exercise 3

1. Not parallel

John likes travelinglistening to musicreading novels, and playing tennis.

2. Parallel

Harvesting rain water and treating industrial waste will reduce pollution and help plants and animals recuperate.

3. Not parallel

From one direction came the mob, and from the other came police.

4. Parallel

I used to walk in front of the mirror wearing fashionable clothes and posing stylishly.

5. Not parallel

It is true that I loaned you $340 and that you paid it back last week. [The main issue affecting parallel structure was mix of voice: one that-clause was in active voice, and the other in passive. Now, both are in active. Moreover, a second that, though not necessary, enhances parallelism.]

Make following sentences parallel

Sentences in the next two exercises contain faulty parallelism. Make them parallel.

Exercise 4

1. He served accurately, with speed, and without exerting much effort.

2. I am inspired from your work, and working with you will be a great opportunity for me to grow both professionally and as a person.

3. I believe I’ll be a good fit in this industry because I can meet tough deadlines, possess leadership qualities, and quite diligent.

4. Tom acted in action and drama movies; Leonardo’s films are different.

5. I accepted the job offer, but my friend thought it best not to accept.

Answers to Exercise 4

1. He served accuratelyquickly, and effortlessly.

2. I am inspired from your work, and working with you will be a great opportunity for me to grow both professionally and personally.

3. I believe I’ll be a good fit in this industry because I can meet tough deadlinespossess leadership qualities, and am quite diligent.

4. Tom acted in action and drama moviesLeonardo acted in other types of movies.

5. I accepted the job offer, but my friend rejected it.

Exercise 5

1. The fruit is available in spring, summer, or in winter.

2. Melting glaciers, depleted ozone layer, and global warming are some of the major climatic issues facing the world.

3. We should teach every kid to become independent, to know their rights, understand their capabilities, and understand humanity.

4. To change the lives of disabled, we can take few steps such as improving their surroundings, recognize their basic needs, ensure that they have good support, make sure that their home is disabled-friendly, consider moving them to a care facility when needed, one can plan regular trips and visits, ask them about their day, and find a pet for them if they are interested.

5. Let’s start by going through your essay and look for any grammatical errors.

Answers to Exercise 5

1. The fruit is available in springsummer, or winter.

2. Melting glaciersdepleting ozone layer, and warming planet are some of the major climatic issues facing the world.

3. We should teach every kid to become independentknow their rightsunderstand their capabilities, and understand humanity. [Alternatively, you can use to with each element.]

4. To change the lives of disabled, we can take few steps such as improving their surroundingsrecognizing their basic needsensuring that they have good supportmaking sure that their home is disabled-friendlyconsidering moving them to a care facility when neededplanning regular trips and visitsasking them about their day, and finding a pet for them if they are interested.

5. Let’s start by going through your essay and looking for any grammatical errors.

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