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Run On Sentences

Aug 30, 2022
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Read the following sentences: 

  1. I like to cook; I always prepare my lunch myself. 
  2. I went to the library and Mark went to the stadium. 

If the two sentences in the given pairs were simply joined without any punctuation or conjunction, it will contain too many random ideas that may not be inter-related with each other. It can become incoherent. Combining several related ideas in a single compound sentence is perfectly fine. However, if syntax rules and punctuation are not followed, the group of words that are supposed to make some sense could end up not achieving its goal. They might end up being run-on sentences. 

Run-on sentences are the ones that are formed when two complete sentences are combined without the use of a coordinating conjunction or proper punctuation, such as a period or a semicolon. A run-on sentence is formed when two or more independent clauses are improperly connected. 

Let us look at the different types of run-on sentences and how they can be fixed. 

Comma splices: 

When a comma is used to string together two independent clauses, it is called a comma splice. 

She is a talented writer, the company would like to see more of her articles. 

parallel

The above sentence is a classic example of a comma splice. Here, two independent clauses are joined using a comma. The usage of comma here is inappropriate, because a sentence like this calls for a semicolon to separate the clauses so that there are no loose ends. 

Therefore, we can say that a comma splice run-on can be fixed by using a semicolon between the two independent clauses. 

Examples: 

  • You may opt out of the course whenever you like; you need to inform us about that beforehand. 
  • You can start writing; I will clear the doubts later. 
  • I love watching movies; she like reading books. 

Fused sentences: 

When two independent clauses are written together withoutusing any punctuation or conjunction between them, it can be called a fused sentence. 

I have suggested that book to her she hasn’t read it yet. 

parallel

This sentence is an example of a fused sentence. It can be fixed by rewriting it using the proper punctuation or conjunction, like: 

I have suggested that book to her. She hasn’t read it yet. 

OR 

I have suggested that book to her, but she hasn’t read it yet. 

The simplest way to correct a run-on sentence is to divide it into smaller sentences with a period. This revision is particularly effective with longer sentences. Here, in the first instance, the two independent clauses have been split using a period, and as a result, they end up being two separate sentences. 

More examples: 

  • Martha is a basketball player. She has represented Los Angeles at national level. 
  • Rachel is a teacher; she teaches my sister mathematics. 

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