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Parallelism In Comparison

We have discussed this topic when we were discussing faulty comparison. This part is just to remind those principles.


Elements compared should be parallel to each other.

Study the following examples.

*Foreign Direct Investors in the U.S. markets seem to earn lower returns than U. S. multinationals with investments abroad.

In the above example, Foreign Direct Investors in the U.S markets are compared to the U. S. multinationals with investments abroad. The two compared entities are in parallel form because both of them are nouns.

* Unfortunately, many institutional investors are more inertial than logical when it comes to emptying their portfolios of unwanted shares.

In the above example, institutional investors’ being inertial is compared to their being logical. Both these are used in parallel form. (Both of them are adjectives)

 

Example
Reliance on employment, unlike entrepreneurship found in developed countries, is a considered a safe bet in beginning a career in developing countries.
A. unlike entrepreneurship
B. in contrast to entrepreneurship
C. unlike that on entrepreneurship
D. as opposed to entrepreneurship
E. unlike entrepreneurship that is
Solution
Explanation: in the given sentence, reliance on employment is to be logically compared to reliance on entrepreneurship. So these two elements should be parallel. But the given sentence is not with this parallelism and thus, incorrect. The same problem is found in all the options except in option C. Thus, option C is correct.

 

 

Parallelism in comparison
Study the following sentences carefully and correct any error of parallelism in comparison. Remember, two instances of the comparison are correct as they are.

  1. Despite the popular belief that savannahs feature widely spaced, scattered trees, tree densities in many savannahs are higher than expectations and the trees are more regularly spaced here than in forests.
  2. While hobbies are perceived to be insignificant or even boring, they are not as trivial as their appearance.
  3. A new means of publishing in academic arena, electronic publication is far faster, but, at times, not as reliable as traditional publishing.
  4. If the analytical machine planned by Charles Babbage in 1837 had been built, it would have been, in many ways, more advanced than were some of the first computers built in 1940s.
  5. The identification of Alzheimer’s disease is more accurately done from symptomatic observation of difficulties of language with shrinking vocabulary at a earlier stage than from that of impairment of learning and memory at a later stage

 Keys

  1. Despite the popular belief that savannahs feature widely spaced, scattered trees, tree densities in many savannahs are higher than expected and the trees are more regularly spaced here than in forests.
    The noun phrase after than is not parallel to the element that goes before the conjunction than. From the context of the sentence, the tree density is expected to be lower. To give this concept, we need to use a verb after than. The second instance of comparison is correct as it is.
  2. While hobbies are perceived to be insignificant or even boring, they are not as trivial as they appear to be.
    The noun after trivial as is not parallel to the earlier clause (they are not trivial). This requires a clause to give the required sense.
  3. A new means of publishing in academic arena, electronic publication is far faster than, but, at times, not as reliable as, traditional publishing.
    The sentence contains two sentences with different degrees of comparison. Both of them must be parallel and complete. So we need to use than after faster to correct this incompleteness.
  4. If the analytical machine planned by Charles Babbage in 1837 had been built, it would have been, in many ways, more advanced than some of the first computers built in 1940s.
    The analytical machine is compared to some of the first computers. The use of were is redundant as there is no possibility of ambiguity. For further explanation, see the subtopic concision v/s precession in chapter 2.
  5. The identification of Alzheimer’s disease is more accurately done from symptomatic observation of difficulties of language with shrinking vocabulary at a earlier stage than from that of impairment of learning and memory at a later stage.
    The sentence is correct as it is. The from… phrase is parallel to the similar phrase in the earlier part. The pronoun that of logically refers to symptomatic observation.





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