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Punctuation, Structure

Note 33 – Parallel form (lists)


For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – http://wp.me/p1x6Ui-4.  If you would prefer to dive straight into note 33, then please read on…

Parallel form (lists)

Brandon Royal in The Little Red Writing Book by explains that parallel form in writing is to “express similar parts of a sentence in a consistent way”.  This gives clarity to your writing.

When listing items, the rule is to include the word or ‘similar part’ either once before the items or repeated before each item, as follows:

(1a) I went to the pub and bought a coke, orange juice and a grapefruit juice
This is incorrect– because there is no ‘an’ before orange juice

(1b) I went to the pub and bought a coke, orange juice and grapefruit juice
This is correct, because ‘a’ only used before the first item

(1c) I went to the pub and bought a coke, an orange juice and a grapefruit juice
This is also correct because the ‘similar part’ is repeated before each item

(2a) I go on holiday in the spring, summer and in the autumn
This is incorrect because there is no ‘in the’ before summer making the list inconsistent

(2b) I go on holiday in the spring, summer and autumn
This is correct, because ‘in the’ is only used before the first item

(2c) I go on holiday in the spring, in the summer and in the autumn
This is also correct because ‘in the’ (the ‘similar part’) is repeated before each item

Hope you’ve had a good day.  Tomorrow I’m going to continue with parallel form (or parallel construction) and how they work in expressions rather than lists.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

This blog: https://mywritingnotebook.wordpress.com

My other blog: http://sandramadeira.wordpress.com/

My website: www.tipsandluxuries.com

Twitter: @madeirasandra  and  @tipsandluxuries

Reference list

Brandon Royal (2004) The Little Red Writing Book, USA

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About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Please let me know what you think of my blog - constructive comments welcome. Have a great day Sandra Freelance Writer www.sandramadeira.com

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