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    #1

    From... to

    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I came across the following sentence when I was working on a project on child cost:

    The calculator helps you estimate how much it will cost to raise a child from the first day of pregnancy to obtaining the first degree.

    I am not sure if the two noun phrases are parallel grammatically. Grateful for your advice, please.

    Donna

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: From... to

    Hi, Donna! Interesting question. You're right, it's not parallel construction. I would have written it differently.

    But in this case, I think most of us would accept it (at least grudgingly) because although it's somewhat messy, it holds together. The big problem with non-parallel construction (probably in most languages) is that it's not logical. For instance, Walmart's four basic beliefs are:

    - Service to our customers
    - Respect for the individual
    - Strive for excellence
    - Act with integrity

    That's illogical, because only two are beliefs. Here at Using English, we wouldn't allow it. But they forgot to ask us. Which proves that you're smarter than Walmart!

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: From... to

    Is it logical to say 'from the first day of pregnancy to the day of his/her obtaining the first degree'?

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    #4

    Re: From... to

    Thank you, Charlie. Glad to know that I am smarter than Walmart... as I know to seek help :)

    So if you are to rewrite it, is the suggestion of Matthew ok?

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    #5

    Re: From... to

    I think it is logical... but i am not Eng language expert... waiting for Charlie's reply :)

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: From... to

    Matthew, yes it is.

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    #7

    Re: From... to

    Donna, please note that you didn't need to make a new post (#5) less than a minute later than the previous one.

    If you want to add an afterthought to a post before it has been answered, click on Edit Post, add to it or change it, and click Save.

    Always capitalise 'I' and end every sentence with a standard punctuation mark – not a home-made emoticon.

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