More parallels

Continuing last week’s post, here are two more examples of sentences that cry out for parallel structure, courtesy of an international student who has graciously shared her work.

 . . . they wanted to know how this union would affect their income. How would Russians benefit from teaming up with a country on the brink of default? Will Belarusians become richer? And why would both countries have to pay more for European cars?

The flaw is in the verb tenses: would benefit, will become, would have to pay. All three questions are examples of how this union would affect their income, so they need to be parallel. Since the union in question was still under discussion and not a fait accompli,  will is premature. So change it to: Would Belarusians become richer?

The second imperfection is a very common one:

. . . by answering the questions Russians really cared about, I could get my readers involved in business and economic life,  both in Russia and the outside world.

 Both requires what follows it to be parallel. Here it’s followed by a prepositional phrase and a noun — definitely not parallel. Two possible fixes:

. . .  both in Russia and in the outside world. Two prepositional phrases.

 . . . in both Russia and the outside world. Moving in before both means it’s followed by two nouns, and that makes it parallel.









Comments are closed.