Parallel Structures (Part Two)

Skill: Grammar  

Category: General English & Academic English

Level: Upper-Intermediate

Parallel Structures (Part Two)

Using conjunctions to connect parallel ideas

Type 2: Using ‘than’ or ‘as’ as comparisons

Ex: Learning a language in its context is much easier than studying it in a class. 

Ex: Speaking in English is not as difficult as writing in English.

Type 3: Using paired conjunctions ’both … and’, ’either…or’, ’neither…nor’, ’no only … but also’ to join ideas

Ex: Both the teachers and students complained about school policies education department.

Two subjects that are tied up by both … and get plural verb.

Ex: Not only my computer but also my cell phone was robbed.

Ex: Not only his brother but also his sisters were crying.

Ex: Neither the teacher nor the principal is present in school today.

Ex: Neither the teacher nor the principals are present in school today.

A plural verb or a singular verb can be used with “not only … but also” and “neither …nor.” If the subject close to this paired conjunction is plural, the verb should be plural too, but if the subject is singular, the verb should be singular too.

Ex: I will buy either shoes or jackets next time I go to the supermarket.

Ex: The movie was neither romantic nor comedian.

Note: Paired conjunctions are used to draw the reader’s attention to both parts of the parallel structure. Besides, they are used for emphasis.

Exercise. Use paired conjunctions to combine the sentences.

1- Jeremy loves bike riding. Beth loves bike riding.

2- Jay Batchen is not at home tonight. Sophia is not at home tonight.

3- We could walk, or we could drive to work.

4- We have many guests tonight. We can make dinner at home, or we can take to a restaurant.

Using comma in parallel structure

Do not use any comma when you join two parts of a parallel structure.

Ex: Stephen and Sophia are in the class.

INCORRECT: Stephen, and Sophia are in the class.

But when there are three or more parts in a parallel structure and they are joined by ‘and’, a comma should be used with the first item in the list.

Ex. Stephen, Sophia and Richard are in the class.

Ex: Stephen, Sophia, John, Richard and Maria are in the class.

Exercise. Complete the sentences with your own words. Use parallel structure.

1- I was watching movie and _____________________________________________

2- The professor enters the class and ________________________________________

3- My little sister walked through the door and ________________________________

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