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faulty parallelism [1 record]

Record 1 2004-07-27


Subject field(s)
  • Language (General)
  • Lexicology, Lexicography, Terminology

Faulty parallelism occurs when parts of a sentence that are either in balance or part of a series are not presented with the same (or parallel) grammatical structure.


Parallelism refers to the expression of balanced ideas in balanced grammatical forms. Thus single words should be balanced with single words, phrases with phrases, and clauses with clauses. Faulty parallelism occurs when ideas of equal weight fail to be expressed in grammatical forms of equal weight.


Wrong: In our society, the elderly feel alienated, because they are confined in retirement homes, their unattractive representation in the media, and the capitalist economy deems them unproductive. (The three items in the dependent clause, which starts with because, should be in parallel grammatical form.)Corrected: In our society, the elderly feel alienated, because they are confined in retirement homes, they are represented unfavourably in the media, and they are deemed unproductive by the capitalist economy. (The three items now all share the same grammatical form of the clause.)


Examples: 1. He likes to listen to music, to watch movies, and going swimming. 2. She understood how to change the oil and replacing the air filter.


  • Linguistique (Généralités)
  • Lexicologie, lexicographie et terminologie


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