Parallelism is a grammatical construction that lists two or more ideas and keeps them in the same grammatical form.

A good parallel structure makes your writing easier to understand. It also makes your sentences more interesting to read.

Let’s dive in!


What Is parallelism

What Is parallelism?

Parallelism is one of the most important concepts in English grammar. It is the concept that says that items in a series must be arranged in the same pattern.

The two most common forms of parallelism are synonymous parallelism and coordinate parallelism, which are sometimes called synonymous or coordinate series.

Parallel structures are created by using the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. This can happen at the word, phrase, or clause level.

The usual way to join parallel structures is with the use of coordinating conjunctions such as “and” or “or.”



What Is Parallelism?

Parallelism is a principle of grammar that states that when one idea is expressed in two or more similar ideas, they should be expressed with the same grammatical structure.

For example, the sentence below uses parallelism to compare two items: “My brother and I are very different from one another.”

In this case, the second item is also an expression of difference.A sentence does not have to contain only two items for parallelism to apply.

A sentence like this one uses parallelism to compare three items:

“My brother, sister and I are very different from one another.” In both sentences, the first item is separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.

This pattern helps readers understand that you are expressing contrast in your writing.

Another way to express contrast is through antithesis, which means putting two contrasting ideas into words.

For example: “I love my brother, but I hate his pet monkey.”This sentence expresses an idea that is opposite of love, which means it expresses hate.

Although it does not use parallel structure, it still expresses parallel ideas. This type of writing can be effective in stressing an important point, or in creating humor or emphasis.

It is important to note that while items in a series may be written as verbs, these verbs must still abide by whatever tense is appropriate for the sentence overall.

In other words, you can’t write “I had gone to school, I was hungry” because you have used two past-tense verbs but the sentence itself is not past tense.

A good rule of thumb to follow when using parallelism correctly is to make sure that each item in your list has equal and corresponding weight to the others.

For example, if you’ve written all nouns, it would be strange if you wrote a verb after it because a verb takes more weight than a noun, so they can’t both have equal weight.

Parallelism In Rhetoric

The term parallelism refers to the repetition of similar ideas when communicating. The repetition of similar ideas is an effective rhetorical device for a number of reasons:

Effective Parallelism – Repetition And The Assumption Of Agreement:An assumption of agreement is created with the audience.

Parallelism in language is used to create a sense of agreement and solidarity between speaker and audience by emphasizing common beliefs or values. It can also be used to emphasize contrasts between beliefs, realities, or sets of values.

When making contrasts, it is often used to show that one thing is either better or worse than another:”The best things in life are free.” “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

This use of parallelism also creates an expectation that something will follow in which the argument will be made clear and distinctions will be made as to why one thing is better than another. It can also be used simply to create a sense of agreement:”To argue with a man who has renounced the use of reason, is like administering medicine to the dead.” (Thomas Paine)

A sense of order and connection may be created by using parallel constructions effectively and appropriately.

Parallel Structure In A Series

Maintaining parallel structure in a series is important because it helps you to keep your writing clear and concise. You use parallel structure when you want to show that all the items in a list are similar. For example,

“The dog barked, the cat meowed, and the bird chirped.” All three animals made noise but they used different sounds.

With this sentence you would have used parallel structure because all of the animals made noise using different sounds.Example: The dog barks, the cat meows, and the bird chirps.

Here’s another example without parallel structure: “The dog barks, the cat meows, and the bird sings.” Since there is no parallel structure in this sentence you don’t know if these animals are producing similar or different sounds from each other.

The same rule applies when you are writing about other things besides animals making noises. For example: “I didn’t like that she was late for work on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.”

This sentence does not use parallel structure because it does not point out that she was late for work on all those days. It only points out that she was late for work on four specific days. 

Using Parallel Structure In Writing

The best way to construct a sentence is by using parallel structure. Parallel structure is when you have two or more similar parts of the sentence that are alike in form and function.

Let’s look at an example:

Active Voice: Bob baked the cookies.

Passive Voice: The cookies were baked by Bob.

Like with many grammatical rules, there are exceptions. If the first part of your sentence requires the use of a form different from the second part, then break parallel structure.

For example, in your first example, if you wanted to express that Bob didn’t just bake one batch of cookies, but three batches, then you would use the passive voice because it doesn’t work in active voice.Now let’s look at how parallel structure affects your word choice and how it affects your writing style.

When we use an adjective to describe a noun we usually place them in parallel position. For example:”It was a beautiful sunny day.”


In this case, “sunny” describes “day,” so they are placed in parallel structure. However, if we wanted to change the word order for for emphasis, we can do so without breaking parallel structure: “That hot bright sun was beating down on that beautiful field.” 

Parallelism In Literature

A parallel sentence is one that has a similar structure. The sentences in a parallel structure have the same basic pattern, but the words and phrases are changed to suit the subject matter.

In essence, parallelism is the repetition of an idea using different words or phrases.Since this repetition occurs in sentences, it is frequently used in poetry and verse.

However, it can also be used in prose (non-poetry) writing.The most basic type of parallelism is synonymous parallelism, where two or more phrases have identical meanings on both the literal and figurative levels.

For example: “I want that job as much as I want oxygen.”In this example, the second clause does not mean exactly the same thing as the first; it just expresses an equivalent amount of desire for the job.

To be true synonyms, the two parts must share exactly the same meaning on both levels.A more complicated type of parallelism is antithetic parallelism, which involves a balancing of opposites within one sentence.

The author chooses two opposite ideas and includes them in a single sentence to emphasize their contrast with each other.In this way, antithetic parallelism creates a sense of balance in language.

Parallelism In Film

Parallelism may be defined as a literary device that involves the repetition of similar words, phrases, or images throughout a single text in order to emphasize a particular point being made. In film, this often takes the form of visual and auditory elements.

This is commonly used in film to indicate something as important or representative. For example, in The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin uses a parallelism similar to that of a mirror to create similarities between his character and Adolf Hitler.

Nowadays, writers use parallelism in many different ways. In his short story “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner uses parallelism by having the narrator repeat key words throughout the story.

The repetition of these words helps move the story along and also build suspense.In Lee Chang-dong’s movie “Poetry,” there are examples of both visual and verbal forms of parallelism present within the film.

Through beautiful imagery and music, we are able to relate the main character, who is deaf and mute, to nature because she is so connected with it.Visual parallelism is shown through imagery while verbal parallelism is seen through sound & dialogue.

The use of parallelism in film is an interesting phenomenon which directors frequently use to strengthen their films and create an additional dimension to the story.

Understanding Parallel Construction

What is parallel construction? The technique of creating a fictional scenario to hide the source of evidence or information.

To keep a source or the method by which evidence was gathered secret, investigators create a false trail of information that leads to the same conclusion as the actual trail.

This is called parallel construction. Investigators will use this method to keep their methods secret so as not to alert suspects of how they discovered information.

A third party is often used to create an alternative explanation for how the investigator discovered the evidence. For example, if an investigator has illegally obtained someone else’s private information, that investigator might give that information to another person and ask them to find it for themselves.

That other person would be a “parallel constructor” in this situation. Parallel constructors can also be used when an investigator uses illegal methods such as wiretapping or computer hacking and want someone else to take credit for finding what they’ve found.

Parallel construction can also be used on defendants if they are under investigation. The defendant might be told he or she was caught because of evidence from an informant, when in fact much of the evidence came from surveillance and wiretapping — methods which may have been ruled illegal and are not admissible in court.

Going With The Flow Using Parallel Structure

I hope you’re enjoying this series on parallel structure. I’m having a lot of fun writing it and I hope you’re getting a lot out of it too.

We covered why parallel structure is so powerful in the first part, then in the second part we looked at some specific techniques for using parallel structure.Now, in this final section, I’d like to discuss another way of using parallel structure – that of creating your own examples and templates.

This is where you can really take control of your writing and make it come alive with some real punch!Before we look at how to create our own examples, let’s quickly recap what parallel structure is.

The easiest way to explain it is by example:Without Parallel Structure:The blue whale is the largest animal alive today.

It can reach 30 meters (100 feet) in length and weigh 150 tonnes (330,000 pounds). It lives mostly at sea but comes to sheltered coastal areas during the winter to mate and give birth.

Parallel Structure:The Blue Whale, which can reach lengths of up to 30 metres (100 feet), weighs as much as 150 tonnes (330,000 pounds) and is the largest animal alive today, has come ashore in southern Chile where it will mate with other blue whales.

Mistakes In Parallel Construction In Writing

In our day to day lives, we communicate with each other using various types of sentence structures, and one of them is called Parallel Construction.

Parallel construction is a type of sentence structure that has been used for hundreds of years.

It is used most often in writing where the author tries to emphasize certain words so that their importance is clear, or when the author wants to avoid wordiness.

Usage:The first examples of parallel construction can be found in William Shakespeare’s writings.

He was an exceptional writer, who created beautiful and poetic pieces of literature that are very much appreciated by readers even today.Here is a short excerpt from his work Romeo and Juliet where he uses parallel construction: “O brawling love! O loving hate! O anything, of nothing first create! O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Mis-shapen chaos of well mixed ill!

As you can see, parallel construction here helps the reader to focus on key words – “O” and “serious”, which are emphasized because they stand out against the rest of the sentence. Parallel construction has a great effect on the rhythm of your writing and makes it sound more interesting.

It is important to note that parallel construction can be used for various purposes.

Using Parallelism In Your Screenplay

One of the most important ways to make your script stand out, parallelism is a method of connecting details in a way that adds meaning and depth to your screenplay. It’s vital to the structure and flow of your story, which is why it’s so important to learn how it works .

When you’re new to screenwriting, it can be hard to understand why certain scripts seem so much more compelling than others.

In fact, if you’ve read enough screenplays, you’ll probably have noticed that some have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about them.

What sets these screenplays apart from the rest? Is it their dialogue? Plot? Dialogue? Characterization?The truth is, it could be any of those things.

But one thing that sets these scripts apart from the others is parallelism – a technique used throughout all types of literature (not just screenplays) in order to create meaning and depth by making connections between details and points.Here’s what parallelism means: A comparison or likeness between two or more things that share similar characteristics or features.

For example: “Stripes are like zebra stripes; they both have stripes.”This may seem like a trivial example but this is a fundamental principle.

Taking Parallelism To The Next Level

You’re probably familiar with the idea of “parallel execution” in SQL. It’s a way to organize multiple queries so that they can be executed at the same time, and it can be a big performance booster.

For example,

if you have a table with 2 billion records and 2 tables each with 500 million records, you can use parallelism to get the job done in much less time by spreading out the work across a bunch of CPUs.The idea behind this is that instead of just running one query against one table, you can run multiple queries against multiple tables at once.

This allows your computer to do more work in less time. So why aren’t all queries written using parallelism? It really comes down to how you write your query.

Queries are often parallelized by creating a GROUP BY clause on one or more columns from the table. In order for this to work, all of the queries need to include the exact same columns in their GROUP BY clause.

If you try to add extra columns, it won’t work unless you include them in all queries (or merge the results). Previously, this meant that if you wanted to create parallelized queries, then you needed to make sure that every query was exactly identical in structure.