Parallelism refers to the expression of balanced ideas in balanced grammatical forms. Thus single words should be balanced with single words, phrases with phrases, and clauses with clauses. Faulty parallelism occurs when ideas of equal weight fail to be expressed in grammatical forms of equal weight.
Wrong: In our society, the elderly feel alienated,
because they are confined in retirement homes, their unattractive representation in the
media, and the capitalist economy deems them unproductive.
My favorite activities are swimming, skating, and dancing.
Books enable me to see the world and to imagine better worlds.
My friends attend school, because they like to make new friends, because
they want to play new sports, or because they love to learn new things.
Convert all items in the list or series to the same grammatical form. Choose a grammatical form that best represents the parallel ideas.Return
Correlative conjunctions are combinations of coordinating conjunctions and other words. Correlative conjunctions function in pairs to join equivalent grammatical structures. They include "either or," "neither nor," "not only but also," "both and," "whether or," and "not so much as." Make sure that the grammatical structure following the second half of the pair is the same as that following the first half.
Wrong: The doors in the cottage were not only too
narrow but also were too short.
Wrong: I was counseled either to quit my job or
ask for a higher wage.
Wrong: Either you leave town by the train or by