Parallel Structure with paired conjuction (Skill 15)

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Previous problem/Skill: Problem/skill with Parallel Structure with coordinate connector (Skill 14)

The paired conjunctions both …… and, either …… or; neither …… nor; and not only ….. but also require parallel structures.

The lecture was both informative and enjoyable

Either the history exam or the physics exam is on Tuesday.

The missing papers are neither on his desk nor in the file

He visited not only his cousin but also his grandmother.

The following is not parallel and must be corrected:

They want either to play tennis or golf*.

It is not correct because to play tennis is not parallel to golf It can be corrected in different ways.

They want either to play tennis or to play golf

They want to play either tennis or golf.

When you are using these paired conjunctions, be sure that the correct parts are used together. The following are incorrect:

He lent me both some paper or a pencil

Either breakfast nor* lunch is included in the price.

These sentences are incorrect because the wrong parts of the paired conjunctions are used together. In the first example, and should be used with both. In the second example, or should be used with either.

EXERCISE 15: Each of the following sentences contains words or groups of words that should be parallel. Circle the word or words that indicate that the sentence should have parallel parts. Underline the parts that should be parallel. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).

1. He either lied or telling an unbelievable story. (I)

  • either ......or..... (correct), but
  • before and after OR  should have the same structure: telling should be told.
2. The music at the concert was neither well played nor well liked. (C)

  • neither ......nor...(correct). well played and well liked have same struture, too. So it is correct.
3. He regularly studies both in the morning or in the evening. (I)

  • both......or ......(incorrect). it should be both.....and.....
4. The play that we saw last night was not only rather delightful but also quite meaningful. (I)

  • not only .............but also.....(correct)
5. He married her neither for her ability to cook nor her ability to clean house. (C)

  • neither .............nor....(Correct)
6. The discussion was both exciting and interest. (I)

  • both ............and.......(Correct), but 
  • before  and after and should have same structure. Exciting is adjective, but interest is noun.  Interest should be interesting.
7. He withdrew all the money not only from the checking account but also from the savings account. (C)

  • ..not only ...but also...(correct)
8. Neither the teacher or the students are ready to leave the classroom. (I)

  • Neither.....or...(Incorrect). It should be Neither .....nor.
9. You can meet with me either in the next few minutes or at 4:00. (C)

  • either.....or...(correct)
10. John is an adventurous person who enjoys not only skydiving but also goes parasailing. (C)

  • ...not only....but also...(correct)
Next: Do TOEFL Exercise ( Skill 14 and  Skill 15 ), and

Next Problem/Skill : problem/skill with past participle after have
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