Welcome to the fascinating world of parallelism! Writing with a parallel structure is a powerful tool for creating clarity and flow, whether working on an essay, journal entry, blog post, or any other form of written communication.

This blog post will help you understand parallelism and how to use it. You will be able to write flawless parallel sentences that impress your readers with some practice!

What is parallelism, and why should you use it in your writing?

Parallelism uses similar grammatical structures when combining grammatical elements within a sentence or phrase. It works by setting up repeating patterns of words or phrases that give readers an easy-to-read way to follow the writer’s thought process.

This helps create rhythm in the text, making things clearer—it’s like hitting that groove at the right moment on the dance floor.

Identifying the various forms of parallelism

Here are some tips for utilizing parallel structures effectively:

Identify patterns

Start by looking through your text (paragraphs or the entire document) to identify repeated concepts, with two or more ideas that can benefit from being shown together in a single sentence/phrase formulation. For example, if you write, “I enjoy running faster than jumping,” you could reword this into “I enjoy running fast and jumping high.” Here we have two verbs (running & jumping) and both adjectives (fast & high), so we know these two actions are happening at equal levels of energy expenditure – hence why they work well when displayed together like this!

Show relationships with connecting words

Use common connectors such as ‘and,’ ‘or’ and ‘but’ between each set of statements; they will help ensure everything flows logically while maintaining clarity throughout your sentences.

Expressions should match

When constructing longer expressions involving many individual components, make sure all components are in the same grammatical form; i.e., they should all either be verbs (running fast & shouting proudly), nouns (the sun & moon ), and adjectives (cold & icy). If one element isn’t formatted correctly, try rewriting until everything meshes together nicely!

Don’t overuse parallel structure

As powerful as it can be, having too much repetition in writing can become boring very quickly; therefore, strive for balance rather than maxing out one specific structural device every time you write something!

Examples of parallelism to help illustrate the concept

Parallelism is a common practice in everyday language. For instance, “She was tired, sad, and exhausted” is an example of parallelism, as all three adjectives describe the same emotion. Similarly, when someone says, “I’ll never forget what you said—it made me angry, frustrated, and confused,” they use parallelism to emphasize their reactions.

Parallelism can also be used in lists; for example, saying, “I need to buy milk, eggs, and bread,” is an example of parallel structure. Finally, it’s often used in idiomatic expressions such as “She pulled out all the stops” or “It’s not rocket science.”

Here is an example of faulty parallelism:

He likes playing guitar, hiking, and sang karaoke. (Playing Guitar and Hiking are verbs, while sang is a past participle.) The correct way to phrase this would be: “He likes playing guitar, hiking, and singing karaoke.”

Benefits of parallelism

Parallelism can add rhythm and structure to a sentence or phrase, making it clearer and more effective. It is used in literature, rhetoric, poetry, and speeches to create an effect of balance and harmony. In some cases, parallelism can even be used as a form of humor; for example, when someone says, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse and chase the rider,” they emphasize their point.

How to use parallelism in writing

Using parallel construction in your writing is a simple process that starts with identifying the elements you want to connect. Once that’s done, it’s as easy as using conjunctions, prepositions, and other words to link them together.

Here are some tips for getting started:

• Begin each element of your sentence with the same parts of speech (e.g., nouns, verbs, prepositions, conjunctions). This means that if you start a phrase with a verb, include verbs throughout the rest of the sentence.

• Consider using coordinating conjunctions like “and” or “but” to connect elements of equal importance.

• Use subordinating conjunctions like “although” or “because” when connecting phrases with unequal importance.

• Use consistent verb tenses throughout your sentence.

• Make sure each element of the sentence is parallel in length and has the same grammatical structure.

• Practice combining elements with common phrases like “not only…but also” or “both…and.”

Let’s look at some examples of good parallelism from popular authors:

From Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: “The Commander made me his offering; his gift adorned me with grace…he spoke kindly but firmly…his gestures were courteous but urgent.”  All these phrases illustrate perfect mastery of parallel structure – each phrase has a subject + an adjective followed by another adjective + object clause combination!

From Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile: She suddenly noticed that she no longer needed self-control — one emotion could be indulged without fear — regret had taken its place entirely… Here we see four phrases demonstrating perfect use of parallelism – each expressing ‘one emotion’ and then stating its replacement (or lack thereof) through precise language reminiscent of poetry. 💗


Whether you’re writing an essay, a novel, or just jotting down some ideas for future use, ensuring your parallelism is on point can help take your writing to new heights. With practice comes perfection when incorporating parallelism into your writing, so keep at it and watch your skills grow in no time!

If you’re working on your first novel and are looking for more help with your writing, please check out my other articles at

Best of luck with your writing!


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