Parallel Structure Exercise (669)

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

    1.
    The protein is expressed in the liver, pancreas, and kidney and in the nervous system.
    The protein is expressed in the liver, pancreas, kidney, and nervous system.

    2.
    We require all employees to undergo training when they are hired and to complete an annual refresher training.
    We require all employees to undergo training when they are hired and complete an annual refresher training.

    3.
    It is implicated in substance abuse and alcohol and nicotine dependence, as well as locomotion.
    It is implicated in substance abuse, alcohol and nicotine dependence, as well as locomotion.

    4.
    Program coordinators will work at schools, from the office, and have the option to work from home occasionally.
    Program coordinators will work at schools and from the office and have the option to work from home occasionally.

    5.
    Unless we stop treating forests as commodities and start protecting critical habitat, we will not only lose these animals but also the forests.
    Unless we stop treating forests as commodities and start protecting critical habitat, we will lose not only these animals but also the forests.

Answers and Explanations

1. The protein is expressed in the liver, pancreas, and kidney and in the nervous system.
The sentence structure implies that each item in the list is intended to be read as a two-word phrase that includes "system" ("liver system," and so on). The association of "system" with "nervous" alone is accomplished by setting the reference to the nervous system off as an additional item distinct from the list of three organs.

2. We require all employees to undergo training when they are hired and to complete an annual refresher training.
This sentence reads as if employees must undergo training when they experience two steps: being hired and completing training. But the intended meaning is that after they are hired, they not only are given initial training but also undergo a refresher course; the revision clarifies this arrangement.

3. It is implicated in substance abuse and alcohol and nicotine dependence, as well as locomotion.
Because "alcohol and nicotine dependence" is a compound item, it must be linked to the previous item with a conjunction rather than separated by a comma; "locomotion" is not part of the list.

4. Program coordinators will work at schools and from the office and have the option to work from home occasionally.
The phrase "from the office" lacks its own verb, so it should be given one, or, as here, it can be combined with "work at schools" with a conjunction.

5. Unless we stop treating forests as commodities and start protecting critical habitat, we will lose not only these animals but also the forests.
The verb "lose" applies to both "not only these animals" and "also the forests," so it should not remain inserted within the first phrase.

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