To do ABC, X needs to be done, ... Y needs to be done, ... and there should be Z.

Roundhouse

Senior Member
Bengali
To get in shape, a proper diet plan needs to be followed, the sleep schedule needs to be revised to a maximum of 8 hours, and there should be at least 3 to 4 sessions of physical activity per week.




I wrote the above sentence. Now please overlook the topic, its a proxy. I was told that the sentence has a poor construction because it lacks parallelism - To do X, something needs to be done [verb + ed], something needs to be done [verb + ed], and there should be something [noun phrase]. They said the third clause is messing things up. I am wondering if it is in fact unidiomatic.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I disagree. There’s absolutely no need to write all three things the same way in that instance. In fact, if you did make them all the same, it would read much more clumsily than it does at present:

    To get in shape, a proper diet plan needs to be followed, the sleep schedule needs to be revised to a maximum(??) of 8 hours, and at least 3 to 4 sessions of physical activity per week need to be carried out.

     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I agree. "Needs to" and "should" are close enough to form a parallel construction to me.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I really cannot see anyone getting in shape by using the passive voice. It is not wrong, but it seems quite inappropriate, unless you are considering this only as an academic exercise that you have no intention of anyone actually carrying out. To get in shape, you need to be assertive. :)

    In terms of parallelism, I agree with lingo and kentix.
     
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