Parallel construction (intermediário) PDF Imprimir
5. Parallel construction

The repetition of a particular grammatical construction is often referred to as parallel construction. This is illustrated in the following examples.
e.g. I am neither angry nor excited.
      The resort contains tennis courts, swimming pools and a snack bar.
In the first example, the two phrases neither angry and nor excited exhibit parallel construction. In the second example, the three phrases tennis courts, swimming pools and a snack bar exhibit parallel construction.

In English, it is considered preferable to use parallel construction whenever parallel ideas are expressed.

Thus, whenever possible, parallel construction should be employed when correlative conjunctions are used. In the following example, the correlative conjunctions are printed in bold type.
e.g. Incorrect: He has both a good education, and he has good work habits.
      Corrected: He has both a good education and good work habits.
The first sentence is incorrect, since both and and are followed by different grammatical constructions. Both is followed by the phrase a good education; whereas and is followed by the clause he has good work habits. The second sentence has been corrected by changing the clause he has good work habits into the phrase good work habits.

The following example illustrates the use of parallel construction with the correlative conjunctions neither ... nor.
e.g. Incorrect: She turned neither right nor to the left.
      Corrected: She turned neither right nor left.
      or Corrected: She turned neither to the right nor to the left.
The first sentence is incorrect, since neither is followed by a single word; whereas nor is followed by a prepositional phrase. The second sentence has been corrected by changing the phrase to the left to the word left. Alternatively, as shown in the third sentence, two prepositional phrases can be used.

See Exercise 7.
 

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