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“Cân bằng – Parallelism” – một nguyên tắc quan trọng trong viết tiếng Anh

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Unskillful writers often violate this principle, from a mistaken belief that they should constantly vary the form of their expressions. It is true that in repeating a statement in order to emphasize it writers may have need to vary its form. But apart from this, writers should follow carefully the principle of parallel construction.

See more below:

Faulty Parallelism Corrected Version
Formerly, science was taught by the textbook method, while now the laboratory method is employed. Formerly, science was taught by the textbook method; now it is taught by the laboratory method.

The left-hand version gives the impression that the writer is undecided or timid; he seems unable or afraid to choose one form of expression and hold to it. The right-hand version shows that the writer has at least made his choice and abided by it.

By this principle, an article or a preposition applying to all the members of a series must either be used only before the first term or else be repeated before each term.

Faulty Parallelism Corrected Version
The French, the Italians, Spanish, and Portuguese The French, the Italians, the Spanish, and the Portuguese
In spring, summer, or in winter In spring, summer, or winter (In spring, in summer, or in winter)

Correlative expressions (both, and; not, but; not only, but also; either, or; first, second, third; and the like) should be followed by the same grammatical construction. Many violations of this rule can be corrected by rearranging the sentence.

Faulty Parallelism Corrected Version
It was both a long ceremony and very tedious. The ceremony was both long and tedious.
A time not for words, but action A time not for words, but for action
Either you must grant his request or incur his ill will. You must either grant his request or incur his ill will.
My objections are, first, the injustice of the measure; second, that it is unconstitutional. My objections are, first, that the measure is unjust; second, that it is unconstitutional.

When making comparisons, the things you compare should be couched in parallel structures whenever that is possible and appropriate.

Faulty Parallelism Corrected Version
My income is smaller than my wife. My income is smaller than my wife’s.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

Winston Churchill

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