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Contents

Series or Comparisons 

Chapter:
Grammar
Author(s):

Stacy Christiansen

Series or Comparisons

Parallel construction may also present a series or make comparisons. In these usages, the elements of the series or of the comparison should be parallel structures, eg, nouns with nouns, prepositional phrases with prepositional phrases.

Avoid:

Surgery, radiation therapy, and to give chemotherapy are possible therapeutic approaches.

Correct:

Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are possible therapeutic approaches.

Avoid:

When an operation is designed to improve function rather than extirpation of an organ, surgical technique dictates outcome.

Correct:

When an operation is designed to improve the function of an organ rather than to extirpate the organ, surgical technique dictates outcome.

Avoid:

There was a long delay between the purchase of a scanner and when it started to be widely used.

Correct:

There was a long delay between the purchase of a scanner and its widespread use.

Note: Avoid the use of nor when the first negative is expressed by not or no.

Fetuses with congenital diaphragmatic hernia who were stillborn would not have been included in this study or [not nor] in many previously published studies.

 

But: Fetuses with congenital diaphragmatic hernia who were stillborn would not have been included in this study, nor would they have been included in other trials. [Nor is acceptable in noncorrelative constructions containing a negative in the first element.5]

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