Karen S. Wright
Comparisons should be couched in parallel constructions
whenever that is possible and appropriate.
The inherent vice of ca...
Parallelism shows that two or more ideas are equally
important by stating them in a grammatically parallel
form:
Nouns li...
I
Came;
I
Saw;
I conquered.
Julius Caesar
Using three verbs, Caesar makes coming, seeing, conquering
all of equal importan...
We look for signs
in every strange
event; we search
for heroes in every
unknown face.
Alice Walker
Walker stresses our
sea...
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and
sweat. Winston Churchill
Churchill uses four nouns to identify
what he...
. . . AND THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE
PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE
PEOPLE, SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE
EARTH. Abraham Lincoln
L...
On all these shores there are echoes of past and future: of the
flow of time, obliterating yet containing all that has gon...
We must indeed all
hang together, or
most assuredly we shall
all hang separately.
Benjamin
Franklin
Franklin uses two para...
Correlatives are words or phrases used in pairs to join
words, phrases, or clauses. These are the principal
correlatives t...
Faulty Parallelism
•The French, the Italians,
Spanish, and Portuguese
have their own language.
•It was both a long
ceremon...
In the last minute of the game, John intercepted
the football, evaded the tacklers, and a touchdown
was scored.
A time n...
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Parallelism copy

  1. 1. Karen S. Wright
  2. 2. Comparisons should be couched in parallel constructions whenever that is possible and appropriate. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. Winston Churchill
  3. 3. Parallelism shows that two or more ideas are equally important by stating them in a grammatically parallel form: Nouns line up with nouns Verbs line up with verbs Phrases line up with phrases Parallelism can lend clarity, elegance, and symmetry to what you say.
  4. 4. I Came; I Saw; I conquered. Julius Caesar Using three verbs, Caesar makes coming, seeing, conquering all of equal importance. He implies that for him, conquering was as easy as coming and seeing.
  5. 5. We look for signs in every strange event; we search for heroes in every unknown face. Alice Walker Walker stresses our searching by making the second half of this sentence exactly parallel
  6. 6. I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. Winston Churchill Churchill uses four nouns to identify what he offers the British people in wartime.
  7. 7. . . . AND THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH. Abraham Lincoln Lincoln uses three prepositional phrases to describe the essential characteristics of American democracy.
  8. 8. On all these shores there are echoes of past and future: of the flow of time, obliterating yet containing all that has gone before. Rachel Carson Carson uses two prepositional phrases about time, and then a pair of participles to contrast its effects.
  9. 9. We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately. Benjamin Franklin Franklin uses two parallel clauses to stress the difference between two equally pressing alternatives.
  10. 10. Correlatives are words or phrases used in pairs to join words, phrases, or clauses. These are the principal correlatives that work together both. . .and, not only. . .but also, either . . .or, neither. . .nor, and whether. . .or. •Before the Polish strikes of 1980, both the Hungarians and the Czechs tried in vain to defy Soviet authority. •His speech not only outraged his opponents, but also cost him the support of his own party. •Near the end of the story, Daniel Webster threatens to wrestle with the devil either on Earth or in hell.
  11. 11. Faulty Parallelism •The French, the Italians, Spanish, and Portuguese have their own language. •It was both a long ceremony and boring. Corrected Version •The French, the Italians, the Spanish, and the Portuguese have their own language. •The ceremony was both long and boring. How are these corrected?
  12. 12. In the last minute of the game, John intercepted the football, evaded the tacklers, and a touchdown was scored. A time not for words, but action. My income is smaller than my husband. He is strong and a tough competitor. The new coach is a smart strategist, an effective manager, and works hard. Either you must grant his request or incur his wrath.
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