Parallel structure and prepositions

Some grammar rules (and embarrassing mistakes!) transcend the uniqueness of different regions and style guides. This new International Grammar section by OnlineBookClub.org ultimately identifies those rules thus providing a simple, flexible rule-set, respecting the differences between regions and style guides. You can feel free to ask general questions about spelling and grammar. You can also provide example sentences for other members to proofread and inform you of any grammar mistakes.

Moderator: Official Reviewer Representatives

Post Reply
Shauna Franklin-High
Posts: 4
Joined: 25 Apr 2022, 20:20
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 3
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-shauna-franklin-high.html
Latest Review: Kalayla by Jeannie Nicholas

Parallel structure and prepositions

Post by Shauna Franklin-High »

Hello, everyone. I’m here with a grammar question. The sentence in question is this:

“Kalayla's father, only present in brief flashbacks, seems to be the only potentially positive black role model, occupying an almost non-existent presence in the novel as well as Kalayla's own life.”

It has been suggested that this sentence is grammatically incorrect due to the lack of the preposition “in” before “Kalayla’s own life.” However, it is my understanding that if all elements in a parallel series take the same preposition (“in”) then the preposition need not be repeated. Please tell me your thoughts.
User avatar
MsH2k
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3751
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: Leaving Large
Bookshelf Size: 286
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: Simple Pleasures by Shirley L. Porter

Post by MsH2k »

Hi.

It seems the error may have been marked to force clarity around what is actually parallel.

The participial phrase “occupying an almost non-existent presence in the novel as well as Kalayla's own life” could have two objects acted on by the participle occupying: a) an almost non-existent presence in the novel and b) Kalayla’s own life.

Repeating the preposition in would clarify that the almost non-existent presence occurred in two places: a) in the novel and b) in Kalayla’s own life.

These two references cover this situation well.
https://www.dailywritingtips.com/parall ... positions/
https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writ ... iples.html

The examples in the first reference are kind of tricky, but the Purdue article does a great job of explaining participles.

I hope this has been helpful.
"I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me."
Tracee Ellis Ross
User avatar
Miriam Molina
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 10084
Joined: 02 May 2017, 20:17
Favorite Book:
Currently Reading: Sage: A Murder Mystery
Bookshelf Size: 656
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-miriam-molina.html
Latest Review: One of the Cats by Richard Mettler
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S
2022 Reading Goal: 50
2022 Goal Completion: 12%

Post by Miriam Molina »

MsH2k wrote: 23 Jun 2022, 13:29 Hi.

It seems the error may have been marked to force clarity around what is actually parallel.

The participial phrase “occupying an almost non-existent presence in the novel as well as Kalayla's own life” could have two objects acted on by the participle occupying: a) an almost non-existent presence in the novel and b) Kalayla’s own life.

Repeating the preposition in would clarify that the almost non-existent presence occurred in two places: a) in the novel and b) in Kalayla’s own life.

These two references cover this situation well.
https://www.dailywritingtips.com/parall ... positions/
https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writ ... iples.html

The examples in the first reference are kind of tricky, but the Purdue article does a great job of explaining participles.

I hope this has been helpful.
Hi, Donna. Thank you for the references. They will come in handy.
User avatar
MsH2k
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3751
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: Leaving Large
Bookshelf Size: 286
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: Simple Pleasures by Shirley L. Porter

Post by MsH2k »

Hi, @Miriam Molina. You are very welcome. :greetings-waveyellow:
"I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me."
Tracee Ellis Ross
Post Reply

Return to “International Grammar”