Faulty parallelism

January 14, 2014pdf

Correlative conjunctions should be followed by grammatical structures of the same kind. Correlative conjunctions have two parts. Examples are: both…and…, not…but…, not only…but also…, either…or, neither…nor… etc.

Incorrect:  It was both a long journey and tedious.

Correct: The journey was both long and tedious.

Incorrect: Either you must confess your involvement or prove your innocence.

Correct: You must either confess your involvement or prove your innocence.

Incorrect: The measure is both unjust and it is unconstitutional.

Correct: The measure is both unjust and unconstitutional.

When you make comparisons, the things that you compare should be in parallel structures.

Incorrect: My salary is smaller than a sweeper.

Your salary can’t be smaller than a sweeper, but it can be smaller than that of a sweeper.

Correct: My salary is smaller than a sweeper’s.

Correct: My salary is smaller than that of a sweeper.

Incorrect: His teaching was like Jesus.

Correct: His teaching was like that of Jesus.

If an article applies to all the items in a series, it needs to be used only before the first item in the series. Or you can use it before all the items in the list.

Incorrect: I ate an apple, orange and a banana.

Correct: I ate an apple, an orange and a banana.

Incorrect: I bought a camera, stereo and a mobile phone.

Correct: I bought a camera, a stereo and a mobile phone.

Correct: I bought a camera, stereo and mobile phone.

Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."