Balanced Sentences — Usage and Examples

In basic accounting class, you learn about balancing assets and liabilities on a balance sheet. In math class, you learn to make parallels and how to plot them on graphs. Balanced sentences and parallel structures also exist in grammar, but they look nothing like your average train tracks. You need balance in speech and writing to construct sensible and logical statements for better communication. In this article, we will talk about how balanced sentences function with the help of a few examples.

What are Balanced Sentences?

Balanced sentences are a lot similar to parallel sentences in terms of structure. Like parallelism, a sentence is considered to be balanced if its two parts are equal in length, importance, as well as structure. The two clauses in the sentence are often separated by either a semicolon (;) or connecting words such as ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘or’, etc. These words are used to create symmetry in the statement, forming its equal parts. But when it comes to writing balanced sentences, it’s important to use the same form for all the words present in the given statement.

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Balanced sentences are common in both speech and writing. Listed below are just some examples of famous lines delivered by well-known leaders in history:

Example #1

“While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war, seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it.”

— Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, 1865

Example #2

“We are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Example #3

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

— John F. Kennedy

Balanced Sentence Examples in Literature

Linguists can agree that balancing sentences can help provide perspective for an audience to understand the message being conveyed in a given statement. Though some grammar tools, such as balanced sentences, are more conversational in nature, you can still find them in multiple poetic proses, persuasive speeches, and other forms of literature.

The examples of balanced sentences listed below are taken from some of the most iconic literary pieces in history:

Example #1

“Her needle-work was seen on the ruff of the Governor; military men wore it on their scarfs, and the minister on his band; it decked the baby’s little cap; it was shut up, to be mildewed and moulder away, in the coffins of the dead.”

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Example #2

“… and though the mother was found to be intolerable, and the younger sisters noted worth speaking to, a wish of being better acquainted with them was expressed towards the two eldest.”

— Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Example #3

“Like the waters of the river, like the motorists on the higmarketinghway, and like the yellow trains streaking down the Santa Fe tracks, drama, in the shape of exceptional happenings, had never stopped there.”

— In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Example #4

“On days when warmth is the most important need of the human heart, the kitchen is the place you can find it; it dries the wet socks, it cools the hot little brain.”

Coon Tree by E.B. White

Apart from literature, balanced sentences are also apparent in today’s advertising slogans. One good example for this is Global Jet Airlines‘ tagline: “light is faster, but we are safer.” The concept of sentence balancing adds a special ring to the slogan, making it catchier and more memorable for customers to recognize. This draws attention to the given statement, helping it stand above the rest.

Other Examples of Balanced Sentences

You may not have noticed how often balanced sentences are used in everyday speech. Although not everyone is critical to using proper grammar and sentence structure, there’s no harm in using balanced sentences to help emphasize an idea and to add a rhythmic tone to your words.

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With that being said, take a look at these examples to further your understanding of balanced sentences:

  1. I want to shop in New York and fall in love in Paris.
  2. For the school play, Robert was asked to paint the sky, draw some flowers, and cut grass out of art paper.
  3. The instructor was suspended because he hit the pupil.
  4. I cannot love her, but I cannot hate her either.
  5. Franz has integrity, courage, and strength.
  6. This country deserves candidates who are sincere, disciplined, and hardworking.
  7. Your tasks for the day are: to mow the front and backyard, to shovel snow from the driveway, and to rake the entire ground floor.
  8. My makeup looks great in the daylight, but not so good at night.
  9. I like singing for acoustic bands and I also like performing slam pottery.
  10. Melanie is a talented fashion designer, and also a brilliant jewelry creator.
  11. My errands for the day include going to the dry cleaners, to the supermarket, and to the bank.
  12. Ellie wanted with all her heart to find a husband who is smart, handsome, farsighted, and rich in chukbloks, the currency of her native land.
  13. It was the best of times, but it was also the worst of times.
  14. Joshua is a remarkable swimmer and a very good dancer.
  15. Every man has the right to say what he thinks is true, and every other man has the right to knock him down for it.
  16. As my sister has contracted the flu, taking tablets helps get rid of her mucus.
  17. The corrupt police officer was criticized and was also fined for his actions.
  18. The company’s aim is to protect consumers from purchasing products that are not effective or that are not even functional.
  19. I love to sing, dance, and watch movies.
  20. My itinerary for tomorrow includes the following: visit Jackie at the headquarters, inspect the Chicago offices, and sign the documents of the executives.
  21. I like to eat and to sleep all day.
  22. The novel centers on the characters; the film reinforces the violence.
  23. Purchase a bucket of fries and have a barrel of bliss.
  24. He enjoys the class, but worries about failing.
  25. First, take your medicine, and then we will decide what to do.

Expanding your knowledge of the English language goes beyond just learning new hyperbole expressions and onomatopoeic words, as knowing how to structure sentences accordingly is essential in both speech and writing. We can’t deny how complex our language really is, which is why exploring its topics and subtopics plays an important role in communication.

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