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Which sentence properly uses parallel structure?a. Troy likes movies with fighting,...

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melissazamora7 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted August 20, 2012 at 5:19 PM via web

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Which sentence properly uses parallel structure?

a. Troy likes movies with fighting, driving, and lots of explosions.

b. Mary likes movies with romance, cute guys, and happy endings.

c. When Robbie goes to the movies he gets soda, popcorn, and candy.

d. William won’t go to movies rated R, PG-13, or nonfiction movies

4 Answers | Add Yours

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:16 PM (Answer #1)

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Parallel structure is a term relating to clauses or whole sentences.  These four sentences merely have some lists of objects, modifiers, or similar parts of speech.  Sentence D. actually has a faulty grammatical construction, since it lists two movie ratings, then a modifying phrase.  "Parallel" means that parts of a clause repeat their structure, as "Jim got a green bike for Christmas, and Joanne got a blue wagon for her birthday."  Subject, predicate, object, parallel modifiers and prepositional phrase modifying the implied "when" of the predicate.  These kinds of distinction usually serve to expose the subtle construction of poems or highly stylized prose.  Lists are parallel only in the sense that all the items in the list should be the same grammatical form.  this list, for example, is faulty: "Tom bought a knife, a kite, a tent, and went fishing."

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melissazamora7 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted August 20, 2012 at 7:05 PM (Answer #2)

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then it would be B? 

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atyourservice | Student, Grade 11 | TA | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted June 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM (Answer #3)

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I think it's a

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taangerine | Student, Grade 12 | TA | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted July 29, 2014 at 1:08 PM (Answer #4)

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Sentence C uses parallel structure because 'soda', 'popcorn', and 'candy' are written in the same tense and are all singular. The nouns are all written and used the same way compared to the other sentences. For example, sentence A are parallel for the nouns 'driving' and 'fighting', but lost parallel structure after referring to 'lots of explosions'. 

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