Parallel Construction

Greetings!

This is a line from an ad I have heard on the radio:

It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive or the home you live in.

The sentence starts out fine:

It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive

but the writer (or editor) lost track with the next phrase,

or the home you live in.

The problem is that because the two phrases “car you drive” and “the home you live in” are objects of the preposition “of,” their construction needs to be parallel, like this:

“It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive or home you live in.”

See what’s different? Deleting “the” before “home” makes these two phrases parallel: it’s no longer “What kind of car . . . or the home” but “What kind of car . . . or home.”

Cheers,

Tara Treasurefield
Tara’s Writing Studio

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About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
This entry was posted in parallel construction, sentence structure. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Parallel Construction

  1. Excellent point! The marketing peeps have no idea the ad doesn’t work because one word kills the parallel construction.

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