Parallel Structure Exercise (734)

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

    1.
    He called for eliminating the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Housing and Urban Development.
    He called for eliminating the Departments of Commerce, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development.

    2.
    Of those, 24 percent were from Christian families, 43 percent were Muslim, and 28 percent were being raised without religion.
    Of those, 24 percent were from Christian families, 43 percent Muslim, and 28 percent were being raised without religion.

    3.
    Every day, we serve to meet your expectations and help you create lasting memories, and we encourage you to play with a purpose.
    Every day, we serve to meet your expectations, help you create lasting memories, and to encourage you to play with a purpose.

    4.
    The foundation also partners with the Parks and Recreation Department to restore and build park facilities across the city, including and most recently, the state-of-the-art skateboard park at Central Park.
    The foundation also partners with the Parks and Recreation Department to restore and build park facilities across the city, including, and most recently, the state-of-the-art skateboard park at Central Park.

    5.
    Your threats and intimidation are unprovoked, unwanted, and will not be tolerated.
    Your threats and intimidation are unprovoked and unwanted and will not be tolerated.

Answers and Explanations

1. He called for eliminating the Departments of Commerce, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development.
Housing and Urban Development is a single department, so that phrase should be presented as a single entity, with a conjunction preceding it.

2. Of those, 24 percent were from Christian families, 43 percent were Muslim, and 28 percent were being raised without religion.
The middle phrase, like the ones before and after it, requires a verb. Sometimes, the first instance of a verb in such a construction can be shared by all three phrases, but the verb phrase "being raised" does not allow that simplified syntax.

3. Every day, we serve to meet your expectations and help you create lasting memories, and we encourage you to play with a purpose.
At first, it appears that the only problem here is that the infinitive "to" before "encourage" is extraneous, because the first instance of "to" supports all three phrases. However, although "serve to" applies to the first two phrases," the implication of "we serve to encourage you . . ." is clumsy, and that final phrase should stand on its own.

4. The foundation also partners with the Parks and Recreation Department to restore and build park facilities across the city, including, and most recently, the state-of-the-art skateboard park at Central Park.
A comma must follow "including" so that the parenthetical phrase "and most recently" is correctly set off from the rest of the sentence.

5. Your threats and intimidation are unprovoked and unwanted and will not be tolerated.
"Unwanted" requires its own verb or, as shown in the revision, can share "are" with "unprovoked" (in which case neither comma is required).

Related Articles

Subscribe to our articles and exercises