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runons

Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 10 years, 10 months ago

 

GRAMMAR | Commas - Run-Ons (Comma Splices) - Quotation Marks

 

Run-On Sentences (Comma Splices)

 

A "run-on  sentence" refers to a sentence which is actually more than one sentence. Usually the first sentence is linked to the second one by a comma, hence the term "comma splice." Test your knowledge! (Reload the page for a new question.)

 

 

You have three basic options when fixing a run-on sentence, depending on the meaning and context of your sentence.

 

1. Break the run-on sentence into separate sentences

 

The easiest solution to a run-on sentence is to write it out as separate sentences:

 

  • Run-on Sentence:

    If you have much, give of your wealth, if you have little, give of your heart.

  • Corrected:

    If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart.

 

  • Run-on Sentence:

    Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.

  • Corrected:

    Enjoy yourself! It's later than you think.

 

2. Use a semicolon

 

Another easy solution to a run-on sentence is to use a semicolon to coordinate the two sentences. NOTE: You can use a semicolon only if the part on EACH side of the semicolon can stand alone as independent sentences. Check to make sure: each side of the semicolon should be able  to stand as a sentence on its own.

 

  • Run-on Sentence:

    United, we stand, divided, we fall.

  • Corrected:

    United, we stand; divided, we fall.

 

  • Run-on Sentence:

    In God we trust, all others pay cash.

  • Corrected:

    In God we trust; all others pay cash.

 

3. Use a coordinating conjunction to connect the sentences

 

This is probably the best solution, because it allows you to give  the reader more information about the meaning of the sentences, explaining their  relationship. There might be a temporal connection between the sentences ("then"), or a logical connection ("therefore"), or an adversative connection ("but"), and so on. There are many possible words you can use to connect the two parts in order to make a single sentence.

 

  • Run-on Sentence:

    By the yard, life is hard, by the inch, it's a cinch.

  • Corrected (by adding the word "but"):

    By the yard, life is hard, but by the inch, it's a cinch.

 

  • Run-on Sentence:

    One hand washes the other, both hands wash the face.

  • Corrected (by adding the word "and"):

    One hand washes the other, and both hands wash the face.

 

  • Run-on Sentence:

    Don't spit in the well, you may have to drink its water.

  • Corrected (by adding the word "because"):

    Don't spit in the well, because you may have to drink its water.

 

  • Run-on Sentence:

    Cowards die many times, a brave man dies but once.

  • Corrected (by adding the word "while"):

    Cowards die many times, while a brave man dies but once.

 


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