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Parallelism

When presenting ideas in a list of two or more items, each item must be in the same grammatical format.

Example 1​

Incorrect

I like to jog, swim, and hiking.

This example is incorrect because hiking is a different verb tense than jog and swim.

Correct

 ​I like to jog, swim, and hike.

Correct

I like jogging, swimming, and hiking.

Example 2

Incorrect

Getting a good job requires persistence, patience, and it helps to be dedicated.

​This example is incorrect because persistence and patience are nouns that are required to getting a good job. the idea it helps to be dedicated uses a new verb and the adjective form (dedicated) rather than the noun form (dedication). 

​Correct

Getting a good job requires persistence, patience, and dedication.

Example 3

Incorrect

The punctuation workshop covers how to use commas, the use of semi-colons, and provides information on colon use.

​This example is incorrect because each item in the list begins in a different way. There is a mix between nouns and verbs, and the phrasing is inconsistent. 

Correct

The punctuation workshop covers how to use commas, how to use semi-colons, and how to use colons.

Correct

The punctuation workshop covers how to use commas, semi-colons, and colons.

Correct

The punctuation workshop provides information on comma, semi-colon, and colon use.

​​​Correlative Conjunctions

When using Correlative Conjunctions (word pairs that join words or word groups), you must pay attention to parallelism.

Examples

both /and
Both men and women enjoy that movie.
 
either / or
You can either walk or take the bus.
 
neither / nor
Neither the bus nor the train is on time.
 
not / but
She went to the gym, not to exercise, but to use the whirlpool.
 
not only / but also
I not only studied for the exam, but I also finished the essay.
 
whether / or
He is trying to decide whether to go to a movie or to stay home.