Can You Fix This Sentence?

I’ve found that even professional writers sometimes don’t know how to do parallelism. Here’s a problematic sentence from today’s local newspaper, The Ledger:

Patten said Publix accepts coupons from manufacturers, competitors, and some online coupons. NOT PARALLEL

The best way to learn parallelism is to make the sentence look like a little poem. (It’s also useful to remember that the third part of the sentence is usually the source of the problem–in this example, “some online coupons.”)

Let’s try it with this sentence:

Patten said Publix accepts coupons from

  • manufacturers
  • competitors and
  • some online coupons.

Saying “coupons from some online coupons” doesn’t make sense. So let’s rewrite the sentence:

Patten said Publix accepts coupons from

  • manufacturers
  • competitors and
  • some websites.

Now it’s correct! Here it is again, formatted as a regular sentence:

Patten said Publix accepts coupons from manufacturers, competitors, and some websites. CORRECT

To read more about parallelism, click here.

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