Parallel Structure Exercise (533)

For each pair of sentences, choose the one that correctly organizes the syntactical elements.

    1.
    She was ordered to organize parties and serve drinks to male employees and was admonished for visiting her child at school during the workday.
    She was ordered to organize parties, serve drinks to male employees, and was admonished for visiting her child at school during the workday.

    2.
    Dick Stuart was the manager for not only Johnny Cash but Carl Perkins as well.
    Dick Stuart was not only the manager for Johnny Cash, but Carl Perkins as well.

    3.
    This intronic variant occurs outside of the canonical splice site and has no predicted effect on splicing and no public or published evidence of supporting pathogenicity.
    This intronic variant occurs outside of the canonical splice site, has no predicted effect on splicing, and no public or published evidence of supporting pathogenicity.

    4.
    The Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and Federal Trade Commission, among other federal agencies, all warn consumers not to share such information.
    The Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Trade Commission, among other federal agencies, all warn consumers not to share such information.

    5.
    Those issues include climate change, universal health care, and the legalization of marijuana, as well as marriage equality.
    Those issues include climate change, universal health care, the legalization of marijuana, as well as marriage equality.

Answers and Explanations

1. She was ordered to organize parties and serve drinks to male employees and was admonished for visiting her child at school during the workday.
Like "organize parties," "serve drinks to male employees" requires the preposition "to"—either its own, or one shared with the previous phrase by connecting the two phrases with a conjunction. The second choice shows this relationship and properly treats the sentence as consisting of two elements, not three, each beginning with the verb "was."

2. Dick Stuart was the manager for not only Johnny Cash but Carl Perkins as well.
Because Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins shared Dick Stuart as a manager, "manager" should precede "not only." "Manager" would correctly follow "not only" only if the statement referred to Stuart being not only Cash’s manager but also serving him or someone else in some other capacity.

3. This intronic variant occurs outside of the canonical splice site and has no predicted effect on splicing and no public or published evidence of supporting pathogenicity.
In the first version, of the three elements in the sentence, only the first two begin with verbs. All must be accompanied by a verb, or the third element needs to be connected to the second one so that there are now two elements (including one consisting of two subelements)—one beginning with the verb "occurs" and one beginning with the verb "has"—divided by a conjunction, as shown in the second version.

4. The Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Trade Commission, among other federal agencies, all warn consumers not to share such information.
Each of these government agencies, if they were referred to in isolation, would be preceded by the article "the," so they must be referred to that way in an in-line list (one occurring within a sentence, as here, rather than in a vertical numbered or bulleted list).

5. Those issues include climate change, universal health care, and the legalization of marijuana, as well as marriage equality.
Though the connecting phrase "as well as" is similar in function to the conjunction "and," it is not an exact substitute; it functions as a bridge between an in-line list and an additional related item, so the list itself still requires a conjunction before the final item in the list.

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