Grammar Quest—Parallel Sentences & Clichés


A cliché is an overused word or group of words. Cliches (pronounced klee shay) bore the reader and do not offer anything interesting to think about.

Example: The lesson went in one ear and out the other.

He did not understand the lesson being taught. It was as if the concepts were floating above his head and he could not pull them in.

Commonly used clichés to keep away from:

so far, so good

put your foot in your mouth

see eye to eye

out of the box

last but not least

lesser of two evils

better late than never

don’t rock the boat

sink or swim

in the nick of time

raining cats and dogs

face the music

no time like the present

calm before the storm

that’s a wrap

many hands make light work

easy as pie ace

up his sleeve


Unparalleled sentences are sentences that contain words or phrases that change in a sentence.

Examples of unparalleled sentences:


We believe in working hard, being kind and play a lot. (The sentence switches from –ing words to ‘play a lot.’)


In Riverton, high school students like to shoot hoops, roam the mall, surf the Internet, and eating fast food. (The sentence switched from the verbs shoot, play and roam to the verb eating.)

Examples of parallel sentence:


We believe in working hard, being kind, and playing a lot.


In Riverton, high school students like to shoot hoops, roam the mall, surf the Internet, and eat fast food.

Last modified: Saturday, 10 November 2012, 2:06 PM