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  1. #1
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    Arrow use of the phrase whether or not

    (Days after becoming engaged, Carla meets Nick and is thunder struck. When she accepts his dinner invitation she justifies it with this sentence. Could it be written better or is this clear?)

    Well, let the chips fall where they may. Either this was going to be my one and final fling or I would learn whether or not I was truly meant to spend the rest of my life with Nick Cisighi instead of Earl Hanson.



  2. #2
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    It's two choices concerning Nick, right? Either he's a flash in the pan fling, or he's a keeper, and she's prepared to act accordingly in either circumstance. Plus, you want parallel sentence structure, so:

    Well, let the chips fall where they may. Either this was my first and last fling, or it was the beginning of my life with Nick Cisighi instead of Earl Hanson.

  3. #3
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    OMG! Parallel sentence structure? Something else to learn. But your edit is so much better than my original, I'll have to look into it. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    It's two choices concerning Nick, right? Either he's a flash in the pan fling, or he's a keeper, and she's prepared to act accordingly in either circumstance. Plus, you want parallel sentence structure, so:

    Well, let the chips fall where they may. Either this was my first and last fling, or it was the beginning of my life with Nick Cisighi instead of Earl Hanson.

  4. #4
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    You want to use parallel structure with conjunctions. There are three types of conjunctions: coordinating, subordinating, and correlative. You can google lists of them all, I'm sure.

    Anyway, you use a correlative conjunction in your sentence: either...or. Parallel structure demands that the structure of the words after "or" are formed with the same parts of speech as the words in between "either" and "or". The words in between "either" and "or", this was my first and last fling, are a complete sentence. There's a noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, conjunction, adjective, and noun. Adherence to parallel structure demands the same parts of speech on the other side of "or". I didn't adhere strictly to the rule because I wanted to keep as much of your writing intact as possible. If I were to write this sentence, I would typically match not only the parts of speech, but the number of syllables, and it would read something like this:

    Well, let the chips fall where they may. This was either my first and last fling, or my one and true love, and that discovery would decide between Nick Cisighi and Earl Hanson.

    By the way, in my last sentence, not only...but is also a correlative conjunction. See the pretty parallel structure? lol.
    Last edited by John Oberon; 04-02-2013 at 12:30 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thank you. I will study your explanation.


    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    You want to use parallel structure with conjunctions. There are three types of conjunctions: coordinating, subordinating, and correlative. You can google lists of them all, I'm sure.

    Anyway, you use a correlative conjunction in your sentence: either...or. Parallel structure demands that the structure of the words after "or" are formed with the same parts of speech as the words in between "either" and "or". The words in between "either" and "or", this was my first and last fling, are a complete sentence. There's a noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, conjunction, adjective, and noun. Adherence to parallel structure demands the same parts of speech on the other side of "or". I didn't adhere strictly to the rule because I wanted to keep as much of your writing intact as possible. If I were to write this sentence, I would typically match not only the parts of speech, but the number of syllables, and it would read something like this:

    Well, let the chips fall where they may. This was either my first and last fling, or my one and true love, and that discovery would decide between Nick Cisighi and Earl Hanson.

    By the way, in my last sentence, not only...but is also a correlative conjunction. See the pretty parallel structure? lol.

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