is a grammatical concept
which appears both in natural language
and in artificial language
s such as programming language
s. It holds that when one is stating points or ideas which follow the same pattern and relate to one another -- such as example
es, or case
s -- one should use the same grammatical structure for each point or idea.
Consider the following sentences:
- "We could go to the movies, go to a concert, or smoke some pot."
- "We could go to the movies, a concert, or smoke some pot."
- "We could go to the movies, a concert, or a pot party."
Of these three, the first and third exemplify parallel construction
. In the first, all three options are written as verb phrase
s of the subject
"we"; in the third, the options are noun phrase
s of the verb "go". The second, however, stands out as awkward
, as it offers as options two verb phrases and a noun phrase.