Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.
What is Parallelism?
When writing a list, every item starts with the same type of verb or noun, adjective or adverb format. Examples:
1. "ing" verbs: We went running, biking, swimming, and fishing.
2. "ed" verbs: We walked, jumped and skipped on the way.
3. nouns: We drove to the lake, mountains, desert and beach all in one day.
4. adjective: She had purple, silver-tipped, spiky hair.
5. adverb: Lovingly, graciously and generously, she helped us out.
What is Faulty Parallelism?
Faulty parallelism in a sentence is when you are writing a list of things and mix up verb forms (to run, jumping, played). Example:
- Faulty: Samantha likes to run, jumping around in the backyard and played with her friend Jorge yesterday.
- Correct: Samantha likes running and jumping around in her backyard; in fact, yesterday she played there with her friend Jorge.
Another problem is mixing up a list of nouns and verbs (a ball, to jump, running outside). Example:
- Faulty: Henry likes a ball, to jump and running outside.
- Correct: Henry likes balls and likes jumping and running outside.
Mixed up adjectives or adverb forms can also be a problem:
- Faulty: Grandpa walked carefully, in a slow way, and halted a lot.
- Correct: Grandpa walked carefully, slowly, and haltingly.
Easy Faulty Parallelism Exercises
Re-write the following sentences so that each has a list using the same verb or noun form. Sample answers are below.
- The English teacher spoke in a nasal tone, unpleasantly, but conveying the information clearly and was funny.
- The coach told his players that they should get plenty of water, to not eat sugary snacks, and being sure they are getting plenty of sleep.
- Benefits of coaching include: knowing each player, helping that player to improve and to get to see that person succeed in life.
- At the party, my sister helped us make the cake, gathering the kids for games, clean up, and to drive some kids home.
- Exercises that I enjoy doing are marathon running, to swim lengths in a pool, riding my bicycle in the park, and to walk along the trails in a forest.
- We must either change the laws about drunk driving or it will be necessary to start enforcing them more strictly.
- The protestors were gathering outside, held signs, starting to shout loudly and stopped the speaker from being heard.
- My sister-in-law loves fad diets and has tried: eating only meat, to not eat anything but rice, smoothies every morning while not restricting anything else, and fasting 12 hours a day.
- To my horror, my wedding dress looked stained, torn and it had wrinkles.
- Our latest math instructor was enthusiastic, cracked a lot of jokes, is demanding, and failed half the class.
How to Correct?
There is more than one way to correct the sentences above and that is true for faulty sentences in your own papers. While just changing the faulty verbs is sometimes the answer, sometimes you need to completely re-do the sentence by
- Re-arranging the words.
- Using a semi-colon to make two sentences connected together.
- Putting extra information in parenthesis.
Here are some sample answers to the exercises above with the parallel elements in bold:
- The English teacher had an unpleasant, nasal tone, but conveyed the information clearly and humorously.
- The coach told his players to get plenty of water, not eat sugary snacks and be sure they get plenty of sleep.
- Benefits of coaching include: knowing each player, helping that player improve, and seeing that person succeed in life.
- At the party, my sister helped us make the cake, gathered the kids for games, cleaned up the mess, and drove some kids home.
- Exercises I enjoy doing are running marathons, swimming lengths in a pool, riding my bicycle in the park, and walking along the trails in a forest.
- We must either change the laws about drunk driving or start enforcing them more strictly.
- The protesters gathered outside, held signs, started shouting loudly, and stopped the speaker from being heard.
- My sister-in-law loves fad diets and has tried: eating only meat, consuming nothing but rice, drinking smoothies in the morning (while not restricting anything else), and fasting 12 hours every day.
- To my horror, my wedding dress looked stained, torn, and wrinkled.
- Our latest math instructor was enthusiastic, joking, and demanding; in fact, she failed half of the class.
Noun: a person, place, thing, or idea (examples: John, Dallas, hairbrush, love).
Pronoun: a substitute for the noun (examples: he, she, it, we, they).
Adjective: describes a noun (examples: soft, red, fluffy, interesting).
Verb: action word (examples: sing, drive, run, played).
Adverb: describes the verb and usually ends in "ly" (examples: carefully, abruptly, loudly).
Verb Tenses in English
Past: played, was playing, did play, has played; swam, was swimming, did swim, has swum.
Present: play, is playing, does play; swims, is swimming, does swim.
Future: will play, is going to play; will swim, is going to swim.
Conditional (may or may not): may play, could play, might play, would play; may swim, could swim, might swim, would swim.
Harder Faulty Parallelism Exercises
If you've mastered the easy exercises, try these harder, more complicated sentences:
- Drunk drivers are thoughtless and take the lives of other people in their own hands, risking their own lives, think about only their own pleasure and fun, and never considering the consequence of their actions.
- Police enforcement should be responsible for service in the community by safeguarding the property of people who live in the community, in order to protect the innocent from crimes and to ensure that all people have their constitutional rights getting respect.
- When my husband takes another job in California, I will be staying here in Texas to pack, let the children finish up their school year, fly out to find a house (while my mom comes here to take care of the kids), and begin my new life by driving with all the kids in the car to California while the moving van is taking all of our stuff.
- In order to convey the information correctly to the crowd, the police officer was speaking loudly, he told people where they should be standing, repeating information so they would remember and gesturing.
- My roommate and I this afternoon are going to be eating lunch at my downtown favorite, a pizza place, then until our friend Sandy is out of work we will study in the library, meeting up at the dorm with our sorority sisters from Tri-Delta is our next plan, and then all of us will be eating the gourmet popcorn my mom just sent me and we are planning to binge-watch the latest Netflix episodes of our favorite show.
Sample Answers for Harder Exercises
- Drunk drivers are thoughtlessly taking the lives of other people in their own hands, risking their own lives, thinking only about their own pleasure and fun, and not considering the consequences of their actions.
- Police enforcement is responsible for serving the community, safeguarding the property of people in that community, protecting the innocent from crimes, and ensuring that all people's constitutional rights are respected.
- When my husband takes another job in California, I will fly out to find a house (while my mom comes here to take care of the kids) and then stay in Texas to pack up our house and let the children finish up their school year, then drive to California with all the kids while the moving van takes all of our stuff.
- In order to convey the information correctly, the police officer spoke loudly to the crowd, told people where they should stand, repeated the information to help people remember, and gestured.
- This afternoon, my roommate and I are going to eat lunch at my favorite pizza place downtown, study in the library until our friend Sandy is free from work, meet up with our Tri Delta sorority sisters back at our dorm, and binge-watch the latest Netflix episodes of our favorite show while eating the gourmet popcorn my mom just sent me.
What Causes Faulty Paralleism?
Of course, you may read some of those incorrect sentences and think, "why would a person mix those up? They don't make sense!" Most of the time, faulty parallelism is less common with simple sentences (although even my college students make that mistake sometimes!). Generally, the biggest problem comes when people are writing complex sentences with longer phrases in the lists. Here is a typical example:
Faulty: Instead of criticizing the government, people should begin to be involved in the process by making sure they are registered to vote, start petitioning for causes they really believe in, learning about the issues and researching the actual situation in order to learn the impact of legislation, both past and current proposals, on causes they believe in strongly, and by going to meetings for their party representatives so that they can really find out if those people understand and believe in the issues they care about and have the ability to represent those issues clearly and forcefully, working at polling places and registering people to vote.
Confused? Me Too!
I get these sorts of sentences in every set of papers I grade. So if you write sentences like this, you aren't alone. The good news is that when you are writing complicated sentences like this, it means you are thinking complicated thoughts and have lots of good ideas.
However, unless you make sure the reader can understand your ideas, you won't be able to persuade them. That is the reason that correcting this grammar issue is so important! Moreover, your tired instructor may find it a lot easier to put red marks on your paper than really attempt to discover what you are trying to say. Let's face it, when we find something hard to read, most of us just give up and move on.
Sample Revisions of Difficult Sentences
Here are two sample revisions. The first one does a simple list, using "ing" verbs throughout to make sure the list is parallel:
Correct Sample Revision: Instead of criticizing the government, people should get involved in voting in every election, registering others to vote, petitioning for causes they believe in, researching about issues, learning the impact of past legislation, going to meetings for candidates, evaluating the character of people running for office, analyzing whether a candidate can present issues forcefully, and working at polling places to make sure the votes are secure and fair.
Notice in the above sample that I do not use any conjunctions (and, or, but, so, yet) except in the last item (and working at...). If you do use conjunctions in a list, you need to use semicolons in between the items of the list. In fact, I would strongly encourage you do do that! Long lists like the ones above are tedious to read, and you can make a much more interesting sentence. Here is an example:
Correct Sample Revision Using Semicolons: Instead of criticizing the government, people should get involved: making sure they are registered to vote, and registering others; petitioning for causes they believe in; researching about issues to learn the impact of past and current legislation; going to meetings for their party representatives to evaluate the candidate's character as well as how well they can present issues clearly and forcefully; and, finally, working at polling places to make sure the process goes smoothly.
The video below gives a good explanation of how to use semicolons in a list.
How to Proofread for Parallelism
Here are some tips for how to check your own writing for faulty parallelism:
- Look for long sentences. Those are often the ones that have a lot of ideas that may not be written correctly. Mark those to re-read and check.
- Look for lists in your sentences. Circle the first words in each list. Are they the same type of verb, noun, or adjective.
- Read your paper out loud (or ask someone else to read it). If you stumble when reading a sentence, chances are that sentence isn't written as clearly as it could be and may have faulty parallelism.
Questions & Answers
Question: What is the problem with this sentence: "The teacher walked through the door and was looking at the students?"
Answer: You want to keep the verbs the same. Either of the following will work:
The teacher walked through the door and looked at the students.
The teacher was walking through the door and looking at the students.
Question: Can you help me with this sentence? "The actress worked as a waitress, a researcher as a ranch hand and also went to college to study medicine for a while."
Answer: To put a longer phrase like the part about going to college, it often helps to move that phrase to the beginning of the sentence as an introductory clause. When I think about putting that in the beginning, it makes me consider the contrast and actually makes the sentence more interesting:
"Although she went to college to study medicine for a while, the actress also learned her profession by working as a waitress, a researcher, and a ranch hand."
Question: How can parallelism exercises work with this statement: I like baking and to eat them?
Answer: You have a good parallelism exercise here. There are two possible correct ways to write this:
1. I like to bake and eat them.
3. I like baking and eating them.
Question: Can you correct this sentence: "We all commit to love that makes you cry and committing that kills you inside"?
Answer: This is not really an example of faulty parallelism because it does not have a list. Instead, this sentence needs a causal connection and is not correct as written. Here are some alternatives:
Committing to a love that makes you cry can mean committing to something that kills you inside.
Can committing to a love that makes you cry mean you are also committing to something that can kill you inside?
Question: What is the problem with this sentence, "Not only is swimming good exercise, but it is also fun?"
Answer: The sentence is too wordy for such a short statement. There are a couple of ways to write it correctly:
Not only is swimming good exercise, it is also fun.
Swimming is not only good exercise, it is also fun.
Question: What is the problem with this sentence, "Police dogs are used for finding lost children, tracking criminals, and the detection of bombs and illegal drugs?"
Answer: The items in that list are not in parallel format. Here is a revision:
Police dogs are used for finding lost children, tracking criminals and detecting bombs and illegal drugs.
Question: Can you help me with this sentence? "Request for proposal, an executive summary sometimes, the number of appendices will vary."
Answer: In a request for a proposal, there will sometimes be an executive summary required and the number of appendices will vary.
Question: Can you help me with this sentence? Competition makes the body run at full speed, feel invigorating, full of life, and fully aware.
Answer: Competition makes the body run at full speed and feel invigorated, full of life, and fully aware.
Question: The actress worked as waitress, researcher and?
Answer: You would need to add an "a" or "the" before waitress. Any other nouns could be used to continue the list. For example:
The actress worked as a waitress, researcher, and plumber.
Question: Can you help me with this sentence?: "Either the Chinese went to the Philippines for trade or were visited by our ancestors."
Answer: This is only part of a sentence, so I will fill in with what I think needs to be included:
Why are there so many similarities between the culture and language of the Chinese and that of Filipinos? We assume that either the Chinese traveled by boat to the Philippines to do trading, or Filipinos went to China.
Question: Can you help me with this sentence? ''My brother wanted a trip around the world and to fly in a supersonic plane.''
Answer: "My brother wanted both a trip around the world and also a chance to fly in a supersonic plane."
Question: How does this work as an example of parallelism: After Romeo and Juliet ran from home, they started committing to, caring for, and to love each other?
Answer: Here is a better version:
After Romeo and Juliet ran away from home, they fully committed to caring for and loving each other.
Question: What is the correct form of this sentence?: "The teacher cannot tell whether an error is caused by ignorance or careless."
Answer: Parallelism is not the problem with this sentence because there is no list of three or more items. However, here are some correct ways to write the sentence:
The teacher cannot tell whether the error was caused by ignorance or carelessness.
The teacher could not tell whether the error was caused by ignorance or carelessness.
The teacher can't tell whether the error was because the student was ignorant or careless.
Question: What is the correct form of this sentence? "She is intelligent, ambitious and likes to study."
Answer: There are often several correct ways to do a sentence. I'll give you a few:
Intelligent, she is also ambitious and likes to study.
Intelligent and ambitious, she also likes to study.
Her enjoyment of studying has made her intelligent and ambitious.
She is intelligent, ambitious and studious.
Question: What is the correct form of this sentence? "My uncle & aunt vacationed with our family, my cousins also joined."
Answer: Here are three different ways to write this sentence correctly:
My uncle and aunt came on a vacation with our family and my cousins also joined us.
On our family vacation, we were joined by my uncle, aunt, and cousins.
My cousins, aunt and uncle joined us on our family vacation.
Question: Mr. Holloway enjoys reading and to play his guitar at weekends. How can I correct this sentence in parallel form?
Mr. Holloway enjoys reading and playing...
What Mr. Holloway enjoys is to read and to play...
Question: Can you help me fix the parallel structure of this sentence: getting rich and to buy a car are Arriane's interest?
Answer: Here are a couple of ways to write that sentence in the correct parallel form:
1. Using the "ing" form of the verbs: Arriane's interests are both getting rich and buying a car.
2. To get rich and to buy a car is all that Arriane is interested in.
Question: Why is it important to ensure that spoken text is appropriate to the context?
Answer: The most important reason to pay attention to parallelism and other aspects of writing like word usage and length of sentences is that you want your audience to understand you. You also want to persuade them to believe that you are an authority to speak on that subject and are intelligent and educated. Your audience can sometimes understand faulty parallelism, but it often makes the sentence more difficult to read. In fact, you will frequently find you need to re-read a sentence with faulty parallelism to understand what the author is saying. Moreover, writing correctly in parallel structure shows that the writer has excellent English writing skills and can write in a professional and highly proficient way. I often edit the work of University professors who have written many papers. The only consistent error I often discover in the writing of these highly educated people is faulty parallelism. Therefore, if you can master this difficult grammar rule, you will prove your competency.
Question: How can I say this correctly: "It is easier to tell the truth than lying to people you love"?
Answer: "Is it easier to tell the truth or to lie to the people you love?"
"Which is easier, telling the truth or lying to the people you love?"
Question: Can you help me with this sentence? During basic training, I was not only told what to do but also what I think.
Answer: Here are two correct revisions:
During basic training, I was told not only what to do, but also what to think.
During basic training, I was not only told what to do, but also what to think.
Question: What is the correct form of this sentence? "The dismissed workers were marching along the main street, chanting slogans, considering their boss and they sang songs."
Answer: There are usually a couple of ways to correct parallelism. Often turning each item into an "ing" form is the easiest. You can also make them a noun or a "to" verb form. However, some situations require re-ordering the information and taking one of the items in the list and putting it before the subject. I think that is the case in this sentence because "considering their boss" is not quite clear. What does it mean that "the dismissed workers were considering their boss?" I think what you mean is that they were thinking about their dismissal and the fact that their boss is the problem and that is the cause of them marching, chanting and singing. Here are a couple of ways to do this sentence more clearly:
1. Thinking about the unfairness of their boss, the dismissed workers marched along the main street chanting slogans and singing songs.
2. Remembering their boss, the dismissed workers were marching along the main street, chanting slogans and singing songs.
3. The dismissed workers were marching along the main street, chanting slogans, and singing sarcastic songs about their boss.
Question: The protestors were gathering outside, held signs, starting to shout loudly, and stopped the speaker from being heard?
Answer: The verbs need to be in the same format. Here is an example:
The protestors gathered outside, held signs, started to shout loudly and stopped the speaker from being heard.
Question: How would you finish the following sentence using a parallel structure: "Celebrating my birthday means sleeping late, eating a good dinner and...?"
Answer: Here are three versions, all of which are in parallel structure but use a different form. The first uses the "ing" verb, the second uses a present tense verb form, and the third uses the infinitive "to" form of the verb. Notice that in the 3rd sentence I only include the "to" before the first item in the series, so that I am not too repetitive; however, you could put "to" in front of each item and the sentence would be correct.
For me, celebrating my birthday always includes sleeping late, eating a good dinner, having family and friends over to celebrate, and blowing out the candles on my birthday cake.
To enjoy my birthday to the utmost, I always sleep late, eat a good dinner, have friends over to celebrate and blow out the candles on my birthday cake with plenty of pomp and ceremony.
Celebrating my birthday means I get to sleep late, eat a good dinner, have my friends over, and blow out the candles on my cake.
Question: What is the problem in this sentence: "We go school to learn and getting the knowlege?"
Answer: You need to have "to learn" and "getting..." in the same format. You can either use the infinitive form "to" or the gerund "ing" but not both. Here are three correct ways to write this sentence.
We go to school to learn and get knowledge.
We go to school to learn and to get knowledge.
We go to school for learning and for getting knowledge.
Question: What is the problem with this sentence: "Hannah told her rock-climbing partner that she bought a harness and of her desire to climb Otter Cliffs"?
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Answer: The main problem in this sentence is the way the order of information is given. In English, we usually put the cause first. So I would re-word the sentence this way:
Hannah told her rock climbing partner of her desire to climb Otter Cliffs and that she had bought a harness to do so.
After her rock climbing partner saw the harness Hannah had bought, she told him of her desire to climb Otter Cliffs.
Question: What is the correct form of this sentence? "Mark Angelo wants to join the band, start a choral group and took more guitar lessons."
Answer: There are several ways to write this sentence correctly, and which one you choose depends on whether or not he has already taken the guitar lessons or is planning to do so. Here are some possibilities:
After taking guitar lessons, Mark Angelo wants to join a band and start a choral group.
Mark Angelo wants to join the band and start a choral group since he has been taking guitar lessons.
Question: How can the following sentence be written correctly: "Daniel not only likes swimming but also jogging"?
Answer: The sentence above is not incorrect but it sounds a bit awkward. Here is a better way to write it:
Not only does Daniel like swimming, but he also enjoys jogging.
Daniel likes not only swimming but also jogging.
Question: Is this faulty parallelism? And, if so, how should I correct it? "Marie and Pierre Curie had both scientific intuition and logical acumen."
Answer: Here is a correction:
Marie and Pierre Curie had not only scientific intuition but also logical acumen.
Question: What is the problem with the sentence "my friend and I went out to eat dinner and a movie?"
Answer: The way this sentence is written, it sounds like you and your friend ate both the dinner and the movie. You need a verb to explain what you do at the movies. Here is a re-write:
My friend and I went out to eat dinner and watch a movie.
Question: What is the problem with this sentence "The building is 72 feet wide, 120 feet length, and has a height of five stories?"
Answer: The words "wide" and "length" and "height" are not in the same format. You need to either use " wide/ long/high" or "width/length/height." Here are some correct ways to say this information:
The building is 72 feet wide, 120 feet long, and five stories high.
The building has a width of 72 feet, a length of 120 feet and a height of 5 stories.
Question: What is the problem with this sentence? "My friends and I went out to eat dinner and a movie"
Answer: Your sentence suggests that you "ate" a movie. Here are some re-writes:
My friends and I went out to eat dinner and see a movie.
My friends and I went out for dinner and a movie.
Question: What is the problem with this sentence? "Tired but elated, Clark spoke to reporters."
Answer: Tired, but elated, Clark spoke to reporters and said, "Here is what I think about the situation."
Question: What is the problem with this sentence: "She loves to work in the kitchen baking, she makes bread, cooks, and experimental recipes."?
Answer: The list is not parallel in structure. Here is a re-write: She loves to work in the kitchen baking, making bread, and cooking experimental recipes.
Question: What is the problem with this sentence? The city corporation explained when the cleanup would begin and it would be funded by a referendum.
Answer: The problem is that after "explained" you use the time word "when" which fits for "when the cleanup would begin" but not the second phrase which is a "how" rather than "when." You can re-write in a couple of different ways:
...explained when the cleanup would begin and how it would be funded by a referendum.
...explained when the cleanup would begin and described how it would be funded by a referendum.
Question: Is this grammar correct? Frank and Eleanor had both talent and compassion.
Answer: Your sentence is correct, but one of the following would be better:
Both Frank and Eleanor had talent and compassion.
Frank and Eleanor had both talent and compassion.
Question: What is the problem with this sentence? "Examples of aerobic exercises are distance, running, cycling and long walks."
Answer: You have problems with the commas and verbs. Here is a correction:
Examples of aerobic exercise are long-distance running, cycling, and taking long walks.
Question: What is the problem with this sentence? "The candidates' goals include winning the election, a national health program and the educational system."
Answer: The problem is the verb "winning" does not fit all three parts of the list. To correct this, you would need to either find a verb that did work for all three aspects or add a correct verb for each item. Here is an example:
The candidates' goals include winning the election, creating a national health program, and improving the educational system.
Along with winning the election, the candidates' goals include improving the national health program and the educational system.
Question: What is the problem with this sentence: "We enjoyed walking around, biking in the lawn and to eat our favorite food under a tree?"
Answer: You are using two different forms "ing" and "to" in the list (additionally "on" is the correct preposition for biking, not "in"). You need to use just one form to keep it parallel. Here are some options:
We enjoyed walking around, biking on the lawn, and eating our favorite foods.
We liked to walk around, bike on the lawn, and eat our favorite food.
Question: What is the problem with this sentence, "He both wanted to keep his job and to move to the city?"
Answer: Your sentence would be better if the "both" is moved next to the verb, and you eliminate the second "to" because "to both" will then refer to both items:
"He wanted to both keep his job and move to the city."
Question: Can you help me with this sentence? "There are more graduates in Miami than there are graduates in the regions."
Answer: "More students graduate in Miami than in the regions."
However, I'm not sure what you mean by "regions," and that makes the sentence sound awkward. Do you mean rural areas outside of Miami? That would make a better sentence:
More students graduate high school in Miami than graduate from rural schools in that region.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on July 10, 2020:
Aiman, your sentences have parallelism errors and also do not connect the causes with clear transition words. Here is a correction:
Owning a pet has proven to be extremely beneficial to an individual's health because pets help lower blood pressure, boost immunity and lessen anxiety; therefore, elderly people who own pets have lower insurance costs because they are less anxious and have more peace of mind.
Aiman ahmed on July 09, 2020:
What is the problem with following sentence?
Owning a pet has proven to be extremely beneficial to peoples’ health. Pets help lower blood pressure, boost immunity and are lessening anxiety. Benefits of pet ownership for elderly people include less anxiety, lower insurance costs, and they also gain peace of mind.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on July 01, 2020:
Arnold, here are some corrections:
Eunice, who works in National Service Personnel, lives with her father, who is a pensioner.
Buried deep in the cupboard, the golden spoon stayed hidden until Cynthia found it.
Arnold Ofori Asante from Accra - Tema on June 28, 2020:
Interesting, i have a lot to learn on this page. Its rewarding.
Kindly help me with the following sentences;
Eunice, a National Service Personnel, lives with her father who is a pensioneer.
Buried deep in the cupboard, Cynthia found the golden spoon.
DAMA KADA PROSPERE on June 26, 2020:
Waouh ! I really found, I read and, I enjoyed these lessons because they're very useful. We can easily make mistakes without being conscious...
ALBERT YUNUS KURNIAMAN HALAWA on November 22, 2019:
This is very helpfull me to learn about parallelism so right now i can make a sentence with parallelism thankyou
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 11, 2019:
Hi Precious, here are some possibilities:
I wanted to go on vacation, swim at the beach, and visit the White House.
I had an idea about going on vacation, swimming at the beach, and visiting the White House.
Precious Valadez-Roberson on October 10, 2019:
I really need help because im not quite understanding how to fix this problem!
I had an idea about going on vacation, swimming at the beach, and I want to visit the White House.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on August 26, 2019:
Hi Chala. Here is the correction:
A prospective employer is usually looking for an employee who is neat, intelligent, and reliable.
chala Fekadu on August 24, 2019:
can you help me this question
A prospective employer is usually looking for an employee who is neat,Intelligent and reliable
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on August 26, 2018:
Tawan-Your sentence does not have a subject, so that is the first thing you need. The subject should be "we." Additionally, you need to make the phrases the same to make the best sort of sentence, so the second part should probably also have an adverb (ly word). Here is one re-write:
In our English class, we learned to both interpret poems critically and analyze essays carefully.
norene tawan on August 26, 2018:
Can you help me this is a parallelism
In our English class,learned to interpret poems critically and (to)analyze an essay
Tajwer Shakir on August 02, 2018:
Highly Informative essay! As i tend to fall prey to wrong usage of parallelism in my creations and your article really proved fruitful! Good job
IMRAN EMON on July 12, 2018:
Thanks, it's helpful
Mohammed Aliyi on May 03, 2018:
I have more learned.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 21, 2017:
Hi John! I love your "me-ism" example, and you may be right! Perhaps "selfies" are invading our speech! However, poor spoken grammar is not completely new to this generation. Your sentence, "My cousin and I " is the correct form in both writing and speaking and if my child or my students used the pronouns incorrectly, I would (later, in a private conversation) be sure they understood the correct standard English format for that type of phrase. However, English is a dynamic and changing language and sometimes new phrases that do not sound correct at first can become standard when they are used widely. For example, I was really annoyed when my students started writing, "I was annoyed when I called and she didn't pick up." I told them "pick up the phone" was the correct phrasing. However, "pick up" has now become idiomatic for "answering." Of course, it is based on the fact that we used to actually "pick up" the phone receiver in order to answer it.
John Dove on October 21, 2017:
You sound like you love the English language and also love to teach. Your students are lucky.
What about changes in form or style -- like, I was taught many years ago to say "My counsin and I" went for a walk. But today, loads of young people say "Me and my cousin went for a walk." Which is proper? Does the latter imply that society is drifting toward "me-ism"?
Imran Khan. (pen promulgates) on September 20, 2017:
Shahzaib on August 19, 2017:
Sir plz Parallelism my Sentence....
1. I will go outside and some photos of sky where it looks really dark.
2. All i wood have to do is to go through the same prosess again, to click on the colour and making sure i had selected the same shade of red colour..... plzz send answes on my email firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on May 21, 2017:
Thanks Vicky for the suggestion of giving more instruction about nouns, adverbs, gerunds and other parts of speech. I have done that in other articles that are connected to this one but I think you are right that adding some information would help here. I will do that!
Harish Mamgain from New Delhi , India on May 21, 2017:
A very useful article for guys like me who like reading and writing English. Thank you very much , Virginia.
Vicky Suarez on May 21, 2017:
The guide on parallelism is comprehensive. Can you provide a more vivid example of what is noun, adverb. Or gerund in a sentence. A mistake is often occured in part of speech or in sentences.Most often I do not know where the noun pronoun ect is. A technical writting must be seen clearly especially the different parts of speech must be identifiable.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on May 20, 2017:
Thanks Ron! I make my students read these, at any rate!
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on May 20, 2017:
Very helpful. I thought your examples were really great. I think articles like this should be required reading for new writers.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on May 20, 2017:
Thanks Heidi! I have found that this is an error which tends to crop up when people start trying to write more interesting and complicated thoughts and sentences. Therefore, it is often advanced writers who most need help in learning how to do this correctly.
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on May 20, 2017:
So easy to make these errors! Great review of the problem. Sharing on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!