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# Example from Manhattan: Unparallel usage: He received a

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Manager
Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 71
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 20

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29 Mar 2012, 11:05
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Example from Manhattan:
Unparallel usage: He received a medal for sinking an enemy ship and the capture of its crew
Correct: He received a medal for the sinking of an enemy ship and the capture of its crew

Reason:
the sinking of an enemy ship is a complex gerund phrase
the capture of its crew is a noun phrase
The original sentence was incorrect because it attempted to put a simple gerund phrase (sinking an enemy ship) in parallel with an action noun phrase

My query:
Would the following be correct?
He received a medal for sinking an enemy ship and the capturing its crew [here both are simple gerund phrases]
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 307
Followers: 479

Kudos [?]: 864 [0], given: 2

Re: Parallelism - comlplex gerund and noun phrase [#permalink]

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29 Mar 2012, 14:12
So let's take a look at your sentence:

He received a medal for sinking an enemy ship and the capturing its crew

This sentence is not grammatically correct. Notice that the two underlined sections begin with different words. The insertion of 'the' at the beginning destroys the parallelism. By simply getting rid of 'the', you will get two parallel simple gerund phrases:

sinking an enemy ship = capturing of its crew.

That does not mean that you cannot start a phrase with 'the.' However, if you start one phrase with 'the' then you have to start the other one with 'the' as in:

He received a medal for the sinking of an enemy ship and the capturing of its crew.

Hope that helps .
_________________

Christopher Lele
Magoosh Test Prep

Re: Parallelism - comlplex gerund and noun phrase   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2012, 14:12
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