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# Parallelism of verbs of being

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Manager
Joined: 19 Sep 2010
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Parallelism of verbs of being [#permalink]

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13 Jan 2011, 01:03
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Hello all ,
I was going through the Manhattan sentence correction guide and I came across this topic of "Parallelism of verbs of being" . It says that when you see the verbs of the form "to be" , be sure that the two sides of the verb are parallel .

Then the following example was taken to illustrate the point of structural parallelism.

The flower bouquet was the husband's giving of love to his wife.

Then the following explanation was given

The two sides of the being verb was are flower bouquet and Husband's giving of love . In order to achieve parallelism , we can rewrite the sentence replacing giving with the noun gift , so that the two sides of the being verb are structurally similar .

The flower bouquet was the Husband's loving gift to his wife.

Now what structure has been made parallel in the latter sentence . I can't tell what is wrong with the former sentence and how it has been rectified in the latter one .
Would someone please explain this issue and give some more examples.

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Senior Manager
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Joined: 15 Nov 2006
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Re: Parallelism of verbs of being [#permalink]

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13 Jan 2011, 08:16
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Raths wrote:
Now what structure has been made parallel in the latter sentence . I can't tell what is wrong with the former sentence and how it has been rectified in the latter one .
Would someone please explain this issue and give some more examples.

focus on comparison and not parallelism. the former sentence compares Bouquet with Husband's giving of love ... ask yourself, are they similar? NO

the later sentence compares Bouquet with Husband's gift ... this comparison is correct

there are sentences where both sides of 'to be' are not parallel and they need not be.

Amy is smart.
The coffee is on the table.

HTH

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Knewton GMAT Instructor
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
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Re: Parallelism of verbs of being [#permalink]

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13 Jan 2011, 09:29
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The parallelism issue here -- and Dimitri is right, not all instances of the verb "to be" create parallelism, although strictly speaking this is not a comparison -- is that a gerund -- that is, an -ing word used as a noun -- isn't parallel to a noun. In the first sentence, "bouquet" is improperly paired with "giving." Even though both are functioning as nouns, "giving" is a gerund and therefore not parallel. The second sentence is correct because "bouquet" is paired with "gift," another noun.
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Manager
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Concentration: Strategy, Technology
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Re: Parallelism of verbs of being [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2011, 09:47
thanks. agree with knewton and dimitri.

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Intern
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Re: Parallelism of verbs of being [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2012, 12:05
I found a problem with the above sentence though. "The flower bouquet was the Husband's loving gift to his wife." - there is no pronoun reference in this sentence. This is what MGMAT calls "possessive poison", but looks like it was overlooked in this sentence.

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Re: Parallelism of verbs of being   [#permalink] 24 Apr 2012, 12:05
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# Parallelism of verbs of being

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