Parallel Structure Exercise (497)

Rephrase each sentence to produce logical grammatical syntax.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: This legacy project would not only secure the team’s future, but could have revitalized the urban landscape in an area that badly needs it.
Correct : This legacy project would not only secure the team’s future but also could have revitalized the urban landscape in an area that badly needs it.

The correct way to counterpoint "not only" is not to insert "but" on its own; "but also" is the proper form (and no punctuation is necessary, because what follows is not an independent clause).

2.
Original: It’s less clear which rules would apply to Smith, who isn’t proposing to design modified humans himself, but to someday provide the DNA to a third-party designer.
Correct : It’s less clear which rules would apply to Smith, who is proposing not to design modified humans himself but to someday provide the DNA to a third-party designer.

"Isn’t [verb] . . . but to" is not a valid framing device for expressing conflicting ideas; "is [verb] not to . . . but to" is.

3.
Original: The university said after the verdict that it had kicked the players off the team many months ago, expelled them from school, and was confident that it acted appropriately.
Correct : The university said after the verdict that it had kicked the players off the team many months ago, had expelled them from school, and was confident that it acted appropriately.

In any list in which the items describe actions, the items must share a verb, or they must each have a distinct verb. In the original sentence, the first and third items have helping verbs ("had" and "was"), but the second sentence lacks one.

4.
Original: A new, state-of-the-art stadium in Oakland, where the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics could be held and also used by the Oakland Raiders, works on every level.
Correct : A new, state-of-the-art stadium in Oakland, where the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics could be held and where the Oakland Raiders could play, works on every level.

The original sentence creates the impression that the football team could use the opening and closing ceremonies rather than the stadium itself; the revision reflects the intended meaning.

5.
Original: Computer models show heat-trapping gases should slightly increase winter rain in parts of California, not decrease.
Correct : Computer models show heat-trapping gases should slightly increase, not decrease, winter rain in parts of California.

The tag phrase "not decrease" works only if it immediately follows its antonym. Otherwise, "not decrease" appears to refer to the heat-trapping gases rather than the winter rain.

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