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Parallelism In Simple Sentences

When we are connecting two ideas using be forms, the elements connected should be similar in form.


List of be forms: 
is, am, are, was, were, be, and been.


In simple sentences, a subject is related to either a noun or an adjective. This principle is applied only when the be form is followed by a noun/ a noun phrase or clause. You should learn a comprehensive list of both be forms and linking verbs.


You should understand the reason for this rule. Whenever you use be forms, you are using something similar to ‘equal to’. You need to use similar forms on both sides of these since equal forms to reinforce equal meaning. They should also be logically comparable. If this is not the case, the error of illogical predication is resulted.


You can understand this concept by reading the following examples carefully.

* Mr. Smith is a doctor. (Mr. Smith = a doctor. Both nouns are nouns that refer to a human being, and thus, are considered parallel.)

* Seeing is believing. (parallel because two ‘ing’ forms acting as nouns are equated)

However, the complex sentence structure of G-matic sentences makes the problem a bit tricky. Now study the following examples.

* What you stated is different from his statement. (A noun clause is incorrectly related to a noun phrase.)

* What you stated is different from what he stated. (A noun clause is correctly related another noun clause.)

* Your statement is different from his statement. (A noun phrase is related to another noun phrase.)

* One of the major changes of developmental psychology during the last 50 years has been the fact that psychologists accepted the important roles played both by nature (genetics) and by nurture (environment). (Incorrect because major change is equated to the fact.)

* One of the major changes of developmental psychology during the last 50 years has been the acceptance of importance of roles played by nature (genetics) and by nurture (environment). (Correct because change is correctly equated to acceptance, which is a parallel element.)
 

Example
Now let’s look at some G-matic questions.
The best way to minimize the risk of investment loss is maintaining a portfolio with stocks and assets in different industrial sectors.
A. maintaining a portfolio with stocks and assets in different industrial sectors.
B. to maintain a portfolio with stocks and assets in different industrial sectors.
C. a portfolio which is to be maintained with stocks and assets in different industrial sectors
D. to maintain a portfolio consisting of stocks and assets in industrial sectors which are different.
E. maintaining a portfolio which has stocks and assets in different industrial sectors.
Solution
Explanation: to maintain parallel structure, we should use an infinitive after the be-form. So, Option B and Option D are possible choices. In Option D, the use of sectors which are different does not give the sense needed in the context. Thus, the correct option is Option B.

 

 

Example
Economics of scale, cost advantages a business obtains due to expansion of production, is a factor that causes a producer’s cost per unit to fall as scale of production is increased.
A. is a factor that causes a producer’s cost per unit to fall
B. are the producer’s cost per unit that falls
C. are factors that cause a producer’s cost per unit to fall
D. are the producer’s costs per unit that falls
E. is a factor that causes to fall the producer’s cost per unit
Solution
Explanation: the underlined part starts with a singular verb which does not agree with plural noun economics of scale. (We can understand that this is a plural noun by observing the plural appositive cost advantages.) The singular noun a factor is not parallel to the plural subject.
Option A: this option does not use the plural noun as is required by parallelism. It also has subject-verb agreement problem.
Option B: the plural subject (economics of scale) is not parallel with the singular noun producer’s cost.
Option C: correct. This option correctly uses a plural complement (factors) and this plural complement is correctly modified by the following relative clause (that cause…).
Option D: this option uses an element (producers’ cost) which is not parallel to the plural subject (economics of scale). Moreover, the relative clause with singular verb seems to illogically imply that the unit falls, not the costs.
Option E: the singular noun complement is not parallel to the plural subject.


 

Parallelism in simple sentences
Correct the underlined portions of the following sentences basing on the principle of parallelism discussed in this section.

  1. The first commercially viable video game was the introduction of Computer Space in 1971
  2. Language extinction is when a language loses native and/or fluent speakers of that language.
  3. According to the view of Indian religions, to attain Moksha, the ultimate liberation of the soul from the cycle of births and deaths, is the freedom from the endless cycle of transmigration of soul into a state of bliss.
  4. The reason for the poverty in Africa is the fact that traditional land management systems naturally replenishing the nutrients lost during agriculture are ignored to facilitate commercial crop cultivation.
  5. Works considered foundational to the discipline of Comparative Literature include Hugo Meltzl, who wrote many articles on the topic during 1860s and H M Possnet who wrote Comparative Literature in 1886.

 Keys

  1. The first commercially viable video game was Computer Space, which was introduced in 1971.
     
    The video game cannot be equated with introduction. To use a parallel noun, we need to use a name of a computer game. Hence the correction.
  2. Language extinction is a process in which a language loses native and/or fluent speakers of that language.
     
    After the be form, a when –clause is used and this when clause refers to a time, not a noun as required by the context of the sentence. Thus a relevant noun is used to correct the error.
  3. According to the view of Indian religions, to attain Moksha, the ultimate liberation of the soul from the cycle of births and deaths, is to achieve/attain freedom from the endless cycle of transmigration of soul into a state of bliss.
    The to infinitive present before the be form needs a parallel element after the be. The sentence has been corrected by using that form.
  4. The reason for the poverty in Africa is that traditional land management systems naturally replenishing the nutrients lost during agriculture are ignored to facilitate commercial crop cultivation The reason is equated to the fact. This is illogical predication because of violation of parallelism. This error is corrected by using a that-clause.
  5. Works considered foundational to the discipline of Comparative Literature include many articles on the topic written by Hugo Meltzl during 1860s and Comparative Literature written by H M Possnett in 1886.
     
    The subject works should include works, not persons. This absence of parallelism between the nouns used as subject and complement results in faulty predication. This error is corrected by using the names of works as complements after the verb include.





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