I am writing on "Earth Day". I am trying to say that on this we will have an exhibition and later a poster competition in our school on the topic of the day that is " Save Earth". Then we will have a speech by our MLA on the same topic and finally we will plant saplings in the campus and nearby area. My question is whether the following passage expresses the same meaning:

We will plant saplings in our school and nearby area followed by a exhibition, poster competition and a speech by our MLA on "Save Earth".

  • 1
    The problem is that you can't link a clause and a noun phrase with "followed". It gives the impression that you will plant saplings and then plant an exhibition etc! It simply makes no sense. Try recasting the sentence to avoid that error.
    – BillJ
    Mar 22 '17 at 8:24
  • Also, your question is whether the following sentence expresses the same meaning. Mar 22 '17 at 10:45
  • I had upvoted BillJ's comment, but if it's not clear, you can try saying, "We will have a tree planting event...followed by an exhibition...." Mar 22 '17 at 12:01
  • I just noticed TRomano had already given you some examples below :). A little florid (:D), but I still upvoted it. Mar 22 '17 at 12:02

This is a legitimate sentence but one that could benefit from a little polishing.

We will plant saplings in our school and nearby area, followed by a[n] exhibition, poster competition, and a speech by our MLA on "Sav[ing] Earth".

A native speaker would not construe it to mean that you will plant an exhibition after you plant the saplings. A native speaker would understand that these are distinct activities, despite the fact that your first clause does not put a name on the activity but expresses it with a verb phrase, "we will plant". However, it is best when we don't rely upon the good graces of the reader or listener, expecting them to make little mental adjustments to our words.

Parallelism is a practical way of organizing your sentence to make its meaning as clear as can be. What you want is four nouns, four names for activities. You would want the first clause to contain a nominal, a name for something, just like "exhibition", "competition", and "speech".

There will be a symbolic planting of saplings, followed by an exhibition, a poster competition, and a speech...

or you could simply bring in the word "and" to link two independent clauses:

We will plant saplings, and then there will be an exhibition, followed by a poster competition, and finally a speech...


Followed by is a conjunction and in this case, it's copulative. It's like you want to plant saplings and exhibition together.

While not restructure it like this:

We will plant saplings in our school and nearby area, an exhibition will follow, then a poster competition, and finally, a speech by our MLA on "Save Earth."

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