Parallelism and Consistency in Sentence Construction

Parallelism and Consistency in Sentence Construction

Parallelism and consistency are essential principles in English grammar and writing. They help maintain clarity, coherence, and balance in sentences and paragraphs. Here’s an overview of parallelism and consistency, along with examples:

1. Parallelism:
Parallelism refers to the balanced structure of parts of a sentence that perform similar functions or express related ideas. It involves using the same grammatical form or structure for elements within a sentence or across sentences.

Examples of Parallelism:
Incorrect: She likes swimming, hiking, and to ride bicycles. (Inconsistent structure)
Correct: She likes swimming, hiking, and biking. (Consistent gerunds)
Incorrect: He enjoys playing basketball, to run, and going to the gym. (Inconsistent forms)
Correct: He enjoys playing basketball, running, and going to the gym. (Consistent gerunds)

2. Consistency:
Consistency in sentence construction involves maintaining uniformity in style, tense, voice, and punctuation throughout a piece of writing. Consistent language and formatting help ensure coherence and readability.

Examples of Consistency:
Inconsistent Tense: She walks to the park, and she will be eating lunch. (Mixed present and future tense)
Consistent Tense: She walks to the park, and she eats lunch. (Present tense)
Inconsistent Voice: The report was written by John, and he will finish it soon. (Mixed passive and active voice)
Consistent Voice: John wrote the report, and he will finish it soon. (Active voice)
Inconsistent Punctuation: I like apples, bananas, and oranges. She prefers grapes. (Missing comma before “She”)
Consistent Punctuation: I like apples, bananas, and oranges. She prefers grapes. (Consistent punctuation)

Tips for Achieving Parallelism and Consistency:
1. Identify elements in a sentence or series that perform similar functions or convey related ideas.
2. Ensure that these elements are expressed using the same grammatical form or structure.
3. Pay attention to tense, voice, punctuation, and style to maintain consistency throughout the writing.
4. Read sentences aloud or review them carefully to identify any inconsistencies or lack of parallelism.

By applying parallelism and consistency in sentence construction, writers can create clear, cohesive, and polished writing that effectively communicates their ideas to readers.

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