Parallel Structure Exercise (413)

Choose the better-balanced sentence in each pair.

    1.
    The new school will offer a rigorous technology-enhanced curriculum, a full community-schools approach to support students and families, as well as teachers who have specifically committed to being part of this new diverse school community.
    The new school will offer a rigorous technology-enhanced curriculum and a full community schools approach to support students and families, as well as teachers who have specifically committed to being part of this new diverse school community.

    2.
    The first multinational corporations, the banana companies were monopolies, managing all aspects of the business, from growing and processing to shipping and marketing.
    The first multinational corporations, the banana companies were monopolies, managing all aspects of the business, from growing, processing, shipping and marketing.

    3.
    The largest-ever prairie dog settlement spanned 100 miles in one direction and 250 miles in the other and was home to 400 million prairie dogs.
    The largest-ever prairie dog settlement spanned 100 miles in one direction, 250 miles in the other, and was home to 400 million prairie dogs.

    4.
    He was similar to Humphrey Bogart in that he was an accomplished actor, hard drinker -- and married.
    He was similar to Humphrey Bogart in that he was an accomplished actor and a hard drinker -- and married.

    5.
    Included were countries like Honduras and Guatemala that were politically unstable, dependent on one export commodity and whose economies were dominated by foreign interests.
    Included were countries like Honduras and Guatemala that were politically unstable and were dependent on one export commodity and whose economies were dominated by foreign interests.

Answers and Explanations

1. The new school will offer a rigorous technology-enhanced curriculum and a full community schools approach to support students and families, as well as teachers who have specifically committed to being part of this new diverse school community.
"As well as" isn’t equivalent to "and," so this sentence does not constitute a serial list (a, b, and c). The two items in the main clause, followed by a separate clause beginning with "as well as," must be joined by "and."

2. The first multinational corporations, the banana companies were monopolies, managing all aspects of the business, from growing and processing to shipping and marketing.
The list in this sentence expresses a range of stages in a process, so "from" must be bookended by "to."

3. The largest-ever prairie dog settlement spanned 100 miles in one direction and 250 miles in the other and was home to 400 million prairie dogs.
The population of the settlement is not related to the two dimensions, so the three figures are not parallel elements in a list.

4. He was similar to Humphrey Bogart in that he was an accomplished actor and a hard drinker -- and married.
This sentence does not include a serial list. The two descriptive phrases must be connected with a conjunction ("and"), and regardless, "hard drinker" requires its own article ("a").

5. Included were countries like Honduras and Guatemala that were politically unstable and were dependent on one export commodity and whose economies were dominated by foreign interests.
"That were" and "whose . . . were" serve to support the phrases that follow them, but "dependent . . . commodity" cannot share "that were" with the first phrase and requires its own verb.

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