Parallel Structure Definition/Rules Parallel structure means using the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. This can happen at the word, phrase, or clause level. The usual way to join parallel structures is with the use of coordinating conjunctions such as "and" or "or."
Examples PARALLEL: Mary likes hiking, swimming, and bicycling. Mary likes to hike, to swim, and to ride a bicycle. Mary likes to hike, swim, and ride a bicycle. NOT PARALLEL: Mary likes hiking, swimming, and to ride a bicycle. The teacher said that he was a poor student because he waited until the last minute to study for the exam, completed his lab problems in a careless manner, and his motivation was low.
Exercises In the following pairs, one sentence has parallel structure, and the other sentence lacks parallel structure. Mark the CORRECT sentence. 1. A. Jennifer is smart, beautiful, and loves everyone. B. Jennifer is smart, beautiful, and caring. 2. A. Andy’s day is so long that he gets up at 6:00 a.m., leaves for work at 6:30 a.m., is eating dinner at 11:00 p.m., and goes to bed at 2:00 a.m. B. Andy’s day is so long that he gets up at 6:00 a.m., leaves for work at 6:30 a.m., eats dinner at 11:00 p.m., and goes to bed at 2:00 a.m.
3. A. Bob was not only Sam’s roommate, but also he was his best friend. B. Bob was not only Sam’s roommate but also his best friend. 4. A. If you go to the store, please remember to pick up your prescription, buy some shampoo, and to look for a notebook. B. If you go to the store, please remember to pick up your prescription, to buy some shampoo, and to look for a notebook. Exercises
5. A. I spent two hours with Ms. Smith, reviewing my job performance, evaluating my goals, and discussing my future with the company. B. I spent two hours with Ms. Smith, reviewing my job performance, evaluating my goals, and my future with the company was also discussed. 6. A. Mr. Brown’s lecture was inaccurate, boring, and unnecessary. B. Mr. Brown’s lecture was inaccurate, boring, and should have been omitted. Exercises
Semicolon Use a semicolon to separate two independent clauses. (An independent clause means it can stand alone as its own sentence.) Example: My aunt also had hairy knuckles; she loved to wash and comb them.
Semicolon Exercises: Where should they go? 1. Take care of the children the adults can take care of themselves. 2. There were two young elephants they needed to have the hairs trimmed out of their noses. 3. It was ever so easy to build smoke stacks out of cardboard the hard part was keeping the smoke stacks from burning up. 4. Irma was a very contented lady while she was swimming she always grinned.
Subject/Verb Agreement Basic Principle: Singular subjects need singular verbs; plural subjects need plural verbs. Example: My brother is a nutritionist. My sisters are mathematicians.
Exercises: Subject Verb Agreement 1. At Yellowstone Park grizzly bears (doesn’t, don’t) have names; they have numbers. 2. In the meeting between human and bear, a wild-card factor (throws, throw) all calculations and studies to the wind. 3. The Yellowstone authorities should (has, have) kept thorough records on each bear. 4. When some bears (encounters, encounter) people, it is the bear who runs.
Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement A Pronoun is a substitute for a noun. It refers to a person, place, thing, feeling, or quality but does not refer to it by its name. An antecedent is the word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refers, understood by the context. Example: Although Sarah was shy, she managed to make a few friends.
Exercises: Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement 1. During early rehearsals, an actor may forget (his or her, their) lines. 2. The Washington team was opportunistic; (it, they) took advantage of every break. 3. A person needs to see (his or her, their) dentist twice a year. 4. The committee members put (its, their) signatures on the document. 5. If any one of the sisters needs a ride, (she, they) can call me.
There, They’re, Their There = place They’re = they are Their = possession
There, They’re, Their Which of the following sentences uses the correct word choice for their/there/they’re? a) They couldn’t believe they forgot to call there parents. b) Their worried that their parents will be mad. c) They left they’re phones in the car. d) I only hope that Santa will bring my sons everything on their list.
Misplaced Modifiers Modifiers are just what they sound like— words or phrases that modify something else. Misplaced modifiers are modifiers that modify something you didn't intend them to modify. For example, the word only is a modifier that's easy to misplace. Only John hit Peter in the nose. John hit only Peter in the nose. John hit Peter only in the nose. John only hit Peter in the nose. Put ‘only’ as close as possible to the word it’s modifying.
EXAMPLES One morning I hugged an elephant in my pajamas. Fixed: One morning, wearing my pajamas, I hugged an elephant.
Misplaced Modifier Exercises 1. The bus station was located by a river which was made of red brick. 2. A fish was found in the Pacific Ocean that had been considered extinct. 3. The cowboy was thrown by the bull in a leather vest. 4. Sam asked me to go for a ride on the telephone.
Smoothly Embedding a quotation You need context before your quote. Advanced embedding means that you include your quote as part of your sentence. Example: The author says of the Boise School Library, “… in February 2010, it had 6,787 visitors” (Doerr 2).
You Try: Which one is done correctly? Vincent describes how one of his patients is “always trying to learn new vocabulary, but finds it extremely difficult” (Smith 3). In the article it says, “always trying to learn new vocabulary, but finds it extremely difficult” (Smith page 3).
Active vs. Passive Voice What is the active voice? It’s a form of sentence construction. In the most basic sentence, active-voice construction is: subject – verb – direct object. The subject “acts” on a direct object. In other words, in the active voice you identify an “actor” (for instance, a person or organization) and what the action is.
Active vs. Passive Voice What is the passive voice? In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon. Typically, the passive voice uses a verb phrase of the verb to be* plus by. Many writers, however, drop the “by” in the passive voice— so the reader does not know for sure who or what the actor is.
Active vs. Passive Voice Examples of passive voice: Seniors are covered... Medicines are distributed... Prices were increased... Candles are being lit... Songs were sung... You can mentally insert “by” to double check that these sentences are in the passive voice. “Medicines are distributed by the United Nations.” “Prices were increased by the health care insurers.”
Passive Voice Exercises 1. You are being watched by Big Brother 2. Paradise was paved and a parking lot put up 3. The sheriff was shot by me. 4. A new nation was brought forth on this continent by our fathers.