Section 1: Correct the following errors in parallelism: Section 2: Construct five original sentences that demonstrate correct parallelism.
Her expectations included a quiet room, a nice view, and she didn't want to pay a lot.
This sentence is somewhat parallel. The initial Subject-Verb phrase sets up what could be a X, Y, and Z to finish the sentence. This occurs but the three “expectations” are not consistently about the same general idea. The “quiet room” and the “view” refer to the room itself. The price of the room has less to do with the room; more to do with economics and the relative value of the room. The phrase “she didn't want to pay a lot” is also wordy and awkward compared to the preceding “quiet room” and “nice view.” So, to make it parallel, but to keep the sound parallel, it could be: “a quiet room, a nice view, and a good rate.” Here, each expectation has two words of one syllable each; the rhythm stays parallel.
Whether you're in a bad mood, or even if you're stressed out, you are still to be reasonable with each other.
Consider making everything parallel after “Whether you're in . . .” The three succeeding ideas, in order to be parallel, need to have a rhythm and be grammatically and audibly similar. Whether you're in a bad mood, or under some stress, you still can be reasonable. This is more parallel mostly by having a rhythm.
Michael's problems stemmed from his indecisiveness, his lack of vision, and his brother was a deadbeat.
The first two problems in the series are qualities about Michael: indecisiveness and lack of vision. The third, that his brother was a deadbeat might affect Michael's motivation, but it does not directly describe a quality about Michael. One way to make this parallel is to change the third problem to make it more about Michael. Michael's problems stemmed from his indecisiveness, his lack of vision, and a bad brotherly influence.
The government is of the people, by the people and meant for the people.
This is a famous example and can be easily corrected by getting rid of “meant.” Then the three definitions of the government include a preposition followed by “the” and then “people.” Without “meant,” we have “of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Tolerance, good temper and being sympathetic are no longer good enough.
The sentence begins with a quality, another quality, and then “being” or behaving in a certain way. Changing “being sympathetic” to “sympathy” makes the sentence parallel.
Here are a few other parallel sentences:
This is not the bus station; it is the train station.
My job requires me to build rockets, make models, and design blueprints.
Parallelism might be more obvious in poetry because of the repetition of rhythm and meter. Consider this stanza from Tennyson's "Break, Break, Break" - even the title is parallel:
O, well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!"