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  1. #1
    mylancuocy is offline Newbie
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    Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel?

    I love the both of speaking and grammar.
    Someone said that this sentence isn't right because the two words of
    speaking and grammar are not parallel. He said the "grammar" should be writing for matching the "speaking" but I thought it has changed the meaning.

    Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel? Does parallel structure depend on part of speech?
    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel?

    Your original sentence is not right, regardless of parallelism.
    I love [both] speaking and grammar.

    But it's not parallel. "Speaking" is an action, while "grammar" is a noun.
    I like speaking in English and learning about its grammar.
    I like the sound and the grammar of English.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    mylancuocy is offline Newbie
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    Re: Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel?

    1.
    How about this sentence, "The dictionary can be used to find: word meanings, pronunciations,correct spellings, and irregular verbs." (from:
    owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/623/1/).
    If this sentence is correct, why are "meanings" and "
    pronunciations" parallel?

    2.
    "It struck me as extraordinary that both of the two newspapers in Aberdeen completely ignored the environmental impacts this would have"(from:
    green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/03/golf-course-vs-dunes-a-rebellion-that-failed/)
    "
    Multiple board service raises questions both of competence and commitment, governance specialists say." (from: nytimes.com/2012/05/27/business/james-breyer-a-director-with-irons-in-many-fires.html)
    Why can "both of ..." be used in the two sentences above?

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel?

    Let's keep parallel structures and "both of the two" questions separate. You can start a new thread to talk about that if you wish.

    Meanings, pronunciations, spellings, and verb are all nouns.
    Last edited by 5jj; 28-Jan-2013 at 23:24.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    mylancuocy is offline Newbie
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    Re: Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel?

    However, "speaking" and "grammar" are nouns as well. why cannot they be parallel while "meanings" and "verbs" can be?

  6. #6
    hombre viejo is offline Newbie
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    Re: Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel?

    *NOT A TEACHER* If you are considering "speaking" as a noun, it is one of a unique class of nouns called gerunds. A gerund is a noun derived from a verb. "Grammar" is a noun, but is not derived from a verb and is not a gerund. Therefore the two are not parallel. Speaking and singing are both gerunds and are parallel. To talk and to sing are both infinitives and are considered to be parallel. Talked and sang are both active verbs and are parallel to each other. The following example is wrong because it attempts to parallel an infinitive with a subordinate clause. "He was told to report at the office and that he would find the instructions there." The same idea, with parallel infinitives, is correctly constructed as: "He was told to report at the office and to find the instructions there. Many people use the former construction without the least idea that it isn't correct grammar. Parallelism of ideas does not receive much attention in our public schools, but is emphasized to a considerable extent in many private ones.

  7. #7
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel?

    Quote Originally Posted by hombre viejo View Post
    The following example is wrong because it attempts to parallel an infinitive with a subordinate clause.
    Is parallelism an over-riding yardstick for measuring correctness in AmE? In BrE, we may apply a lower standard with regard to parallelism, just as we do with things like run-on sentences. I could rewrite your example, but I can't honestly get that worked up about it; it's OK to me rather than wrong.

    When I was a child, AmE was often accused of destroying English through not following the rules. It's interesting that a few decades later, things have reversed and now it is BrE that is breaking the rules.

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel?

    I'm a strong proponent of parallelism because it doesn't lead readers down blind alleys. However, I have no problem with the sentence that HV posted above, because the parallelism comes from "He was told to report ... and (he was told) that he would find..." The parts that follow are both what he was told.

    Yes, gerunds act like nouns, but they are not completely nouns. I don't like this sentence either: "I like swimming and crossword puzzles." I would write it as "I like swimming and doing crossword puzzles."

    T, I'm curious: Do you object (aside from the discontinuity of the attributes) to something like this? She was happy, well-educated, and a good swimmer.

    Oh - and of course, we're talking style, not grammar. "Correctness" is something we all struggle with on this forum when learners produce sentences that are grammatically correct but not natural and/or not what we consider good style.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. #9
    hombre viejo is offline Newbie
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    Re: Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel?

    *NOT A TEACHER* I don't adequate qualifications to comment on the former or current "standards" of BrE. I do know that "standards" in both versions are subject to change through time and accepted use. The reason I wrote the response to mylancuocy's question asking why "speaking and grammar" could not be considered parallel was that by the "standard" I was taught some years ago in AmE grammar, they are not parallel. I noted the "standard" wasn't extensively taught even then and has not been scrupulously observed here - and apparently not in BrE. Again, I'll mention that people who are native speakers of Chinese, Farsi, Japanese, etc., may not be helped as much as we would like when we can't agree on acceptable grammar "standards". Perhaps just providing acceptable phrases - grammatically correct or not - which fulfill the mission of successful communication would be appropriate for this forum.?
    Last edited by hombre viejo; 29-Jan-2013 at 15:46. Reason: The first sentence omitted the word "have"

  10. #10
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    Re: Are the two words of speaking and grammar parallel?

    Quote Originally Posted by hombre viejo View Post
    Again, I'll mention that people who are native speakers of Chinese, Farsi, Japanese, etc., may not be helped as much as we would like when we can't agree on acceptable grammar "standards".
    They need to know that in the field of style, there are often no absolute rules or standards. Some grammar and course books written by non-native speakers, and even some written by native speakers, sometimes give the impression that there is only one correct way of expressing each thought in English. This causes confusion for learners when they find native speakers apparently breaking the rules.
    Perhaps just providing acceptable phrases - grammatically correct or not - which fulfill the mission of successful communication would be appropriate for this forum.?
    We are not in the business of providing grammatically incorrect forms. Learners come here for a variety of reasons; some are interested in the finer theoretical aspects of grammar, some in what is appropriate in informal conversation, others in different things. We try in our responses to cater for as many types of learners as we can.

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