Faulty Parallelism
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Faulty Parallelism is the grammatical error affecting readability and creates distractions. In this article, you will know the causes and tips to improve.

What is Parallelism?

Parallelism is a structural balance within one or more sentences, clauses, and phrases. The structural balance improves readability and makes the sentence easier to understand. For instance, the faulty parallelism is,” she likes reading, cooking, and to jog.” What do you think about this sentence, Is this correct?

I am sure, you find it wrong. Yes, the correct form of this sentence is below:

“She likes reading, cooking, and jogging.”

Faulty Parallelism

Let’s consider one more example for more clarity.

“She likes running and baseball.”

Have you detected the parallel in this sentence? No? Yes, you are correct. This sentence doesn’t have any parallel. Thus, lacks readability and effectiveness as well.

So, the correct way to write this sentence with proper parallelism is “She likes running and playing baseball.”

What is Faulty Parallelism?

Now, you must be wondering, what does parallelism actually mean?

So, it is one grammatical error that people generally commit in the English language. The error affects the flow of the sentence, whether it’s oral or written. In other words, Parallelism is the placement or use of proper forms of different parts of the sentences. Like clauses, words, and phrases. The correct use of all these parts is necessary for effective language use.

Whereas, the incorrect forms of the sentence are equivalent in meaning but not grammatically. The basic grammar rule is one should use equal ideas in forms. Like verbs with verbs, nouns with nouns, phrases with phrases, and similar clauses with clauses.

faulty Parallelism

This correct placement will ensure the right delivery of the message by the sender and correct readability by the receiver as well. It will not distract your audience and make the communication effective.

You may not just commit this error in a sentence only. There are chances of faulty parallelism in listing as well. Let’s discuss some examples of this error in the list below:

  1. The purpose is defined.
  2. You must discuss the findings.
  3. What should the team do?

Have you gone through this list properly? So, you just found that there is no flow in reading it. The first sentence is a simple form sentence. The second one is focusing on “we” whereas, and the last point in question. So, there is no flow and link established in this.

Now, let’s see what should be the correct form of this list mentioned below:

  1. Define Purpose.
  2. Discuss the findings.
  3. Determine Team tasks.

So, this form is equivalent and grammatically right because the beginning of each sentence is with the verb followed by the object.

Causes of Faulty Parallelism

If you think, how incorrect parallelism impacts your sentence. It’s very common among us all. Generally, most of the mistakes happen in complex sentences. The sentence with longer phrases and lists may result in faulty parallelism.

Another major cause of this error is confusion. Yes, we probably get confused while drafting a sentence. This leads to a plethora of errors in the sentence.

How to Avoid Faulty Parallelism?

Now, you are known with the causes of this grammatical error. The benefit of knowing this is to understand the ways to avoid the fault.

How to correct?

In case you find any incorrect form of words, phrases, and clauses in your sentence. You have to correct it now by following simple steps as follows:


The most important and smart way to remove the error is proofreading. You need to check your writing and find the following points.

  • Reduce Long sentences:
  • As these sentences are the major cause of faulty parallelism. So, make them simpler as much as you can.
  • Re-write the lists: Check your list and make ensure that the first word of all the points is in the same form. As, in these points, the sentence is starting from the verb.
  • Read your writing piece: Now, to ensure the quality read your piece of writing in loud. If you stumble at any point or sentence, then it has a problem. Re-check it.

How to correct?

Tips to Improve

Some other tips for improving the writing skills and avoid faulty parallelism are given below.

  • Re-arrange the sentences/ words
  • You may use punctuation marks like semicolon to connect two sentences.
  • Moreover, you can add extra information in parenthesis.

Some FAQs

How do you fix faulty parallelism?

The simple way to avoid this error is to use simple grammar and sentences. Make ensure that you are using all the elements in parallel. For instance, if you are writing “I am thinking and to run.” Does it make any sense?

No, yeah.

Contrarily, if you write “I am thinking and running.” This makes sense and fluency too.

This is a very basic example of faulty parallelism. Depending upon your competency level, you may also think, who can make this basic mistake? But the hard truth is some fellows make. So, we need to practice more and more on this and excel in writing skills.

What does faulty parallelism errors in a sentence?

We write a piece to influence certain readers. Every writing or piece of article or paper has some meaning to someone and adds value to their skills or life. So, we must try to create a great impact and avoid the inconvenience in reading and understanding the information. This error refrains the reader to make the flow.

Resulting in distraction and making your piece a waste. Do you want that? A big NO so improves your grammar and buckle up with the new version.

Give examples of faulty parallelism?

Now, let’s focus on different ways to fix faulty parallelism. For example, the incorrect sentence is

Faulty Parallelism: “My Sister likes to visit Malls and eating Sweets.”

So, firstly the error in this sentence is “to visit” and “eating”. Now, we can either use a gerund sentence with “to” or simply use the continuous verb i.e. “eating”. So, let us show you the correct forms of this sentence:

Correct Parallelism form: “My Sister likes visiting malls and to eat sweets.”

Or the other way is

Correct form: “My Sister likes visiting malls and eating sweets.”

This sentence had two verbs. So now, we will see the sentence with three verbs.

Faulty parallelism: “The customer wants to exchange the handbag, to get a refund or she wants to talk to the CEO.”

Correct Parallelism form: “The customer wants to exchange the handbag, to get a refund, or to talk to the CEO.”


Other Correct form: “The customer wants to exchange the handbag, get a refund, or to talk to the CEO.”

Hence, I hope you are clear with the concept of Parallelism and will not commit these mistakes in your writing and make a masterpiece. Good Luck!

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