A Good Example of an Incorrect Parallelism

  • This is a really long sentence, so I made the parallel words bold.
  • The sentence is also from two months ago, so the politics is out of date, and I always tell you to ignore the politics anyway; this is a blog about writing and grammar.

Okay, now to the grammar. The rule is that parallel constructions should have the same form. See what the writer did here?

As Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that breaching the debt ceiling would delay Social Security payments and military paychecks, as well as jeopardizing the status of the U.S. dollar as the international reserve currency, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offered Senate Republicans “a way out” from having to participate in raising the ceiling, despite the fact that the Republicans had added $7.8 trillion to the now-$28 trillion debt during Trump’s term.


Sounds funny when I point out the crooked parallelism, doesn’t it? The second verb should be “jeopardize” to match “would delay. (You can assume a “would” before “jeopardize.”)