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12/10/2011

Locate partners in parallel and comparative structures

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  • Ally

    Ally

    自小熱衷鑽研英語、分享心得,酷愛研究遣詞用字、文法活用,討厭硬記生吞詞彙生字、死記爛背文法規則。自有一套獨特的英語教學方法——「語境技巧」(Context Approach) ,著重語境理解及語文邏輯,達到有效表達和溝通。慨歎學生過於考試主導(exam-oriented)、死操試題、不求甚解,欲藉著學生爭取優異成績的鬥志,驅動學生有效地應付英語公開試,同時提升英語水平,求分數同時求學問。

    大學畢業後即任會考及高考班英文老師,現為資深英文導師及英語專欄作家,熟悉各大英語公開試,例如:SAT, IELTS, TOEFL, HKCEE, HKASLE, HKDSE。

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Parallelism and comparison have both been discussed in Identifying Sentence Errors in my article on 9 Aug 2011, they are worth mentioning again in Improving Sentences since they, especially parallelism, are frequently tested. Thus, you can read this article in parallel with that published on 9 Aug.

 

5.  Parallelism


Skillful writers use a variety of sentence structures to convey meaning effectively and ensure ideas flow smoothly. However, when coordinate and contrastive ideas are juxtaposed in a sentence, they should be expressed in the same grammatical form in parallel structure. Juxtaposed elements are usually connected by conjunctions such as “and”, but” and “or”. This recognizable parallel structure helps writers to underscore the comparison and readers to follow the flow. Parallel structures can also reduce wordiness because part of the sentence is shared.

 

5a. Identify corresponding parallel parts


Careful writers balance a word with a word and a phrase with a phrase in parallel structures. In Improving Sentences, students need to identify the corresponding “partner” of a word or a phrase in the complex syntactic structure to determine which part of speech and forms should be used. First, read the sentence once and get its meaning. Meaning can help you see how the different parts of a sentence should be related.

 


5b. Use determiners and prepositions for the first or every member in parallel structures

 

 


Determiners (such as “a”, “the”, “every”, “my”, “this”, and “first”) are used in front of a noun to clarify the kind of reference the noun has. Following the principle of consistency, a determiner or a preposition which applies to all members in a parallel series should be used either


once before the first item
 - in France, Italy and Spain


before each item
 - the rich and the poor


If using the determiner or the preposition once does not affect meaning, it is unnecessary to repeat it before each item.

 

6.  Comparison


The area of comparison is tested similarly in Identifying Sentence Errors and Improving Sentences. Please refer to my article on 9 Aug 2011 for details. Here are a few examples to illustrate how this area is tested in Improving Sentences.

 

6a. Logical comparison

 

 

6b. Appropriate comparative structures

 

 

If you have any questions or enquires, feel free to visit my facebook page:
www.facebook.com/allylo.english.

 

(Next Tue: How to gain steady and consistent improvement)

 

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