Symmetry





Symmetry between the two parts of a sentence is must.

Look at this sentence.

• To advance was difficult: retreating was impossible.

Here, in the first part of the sentence, an infinite has been used.
While in the second part of the sentence only a gerund has been used.

This sentence does not have symmetry.

In order to restore that, this sentence should be restructured as follows.

• To advance was difficult: to retreat was impossible.

Or this sentence can be written in another form.

• Advancing was difficult; retreating was impossible.

Example-1:

• To visualize success is not the same as achieving it.

There is no symmetry in this sentence.

The correct forms are:

• To visualize success is not the same as to achieve it.
• Visualizing success is not the same as achieving it.

Example-2:

Incorrect:
• To say that the songs patterns of the common robin are less complex than those of the indigo bunting is doing a great disservice to both birds.

Correct:
• To say that the songs patterns of the common robin are less complex than those of the indigo bunting is to do a great disservice to both birds.

Example-3:

Incorrect:
• I spent three weeks in France, and my images of that country range from pastoral to the cosmopolitan.

Correct:
• I spent three weeks in France, and my images of that country range from the pastoral to the cosmopolitan.

Example-4:

Incorrect:
• In the Chinese restaurant in our town, the food is fascinating and the liquor exquisite.

Correct:
• In the Chinese restaurant in our town, the food is fascinating and the liquor is exquisite.

Example-5:

Incorrect:
• Because young children do not organize their attention or perceptions systematically like adults, they may notice and remember details that their elders ignore.

Correct:
• Because young children do not organize their attention or perceptions systematically as adults do, they may notice and remember details that their elders ignore.

NOTE:

The word ‘like’ is only a preposition. It is not a conjunction. The proper conjunction is only ‘as’.

Example-6:

Incorrect:
• There is growing demand in the state for initiative and referendum, a procedure that allows the voters to propose laws as well as repealing them.

Correct:
• There is growing demand in the state for initiative and referendum, a procedure that allows the voters to propose laws as well as to repeal them.

Go to the Advanced English Index to continue



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