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What are Run-on Sentences?

run-on-sentencesWhat exactly are run-on sentences? Why do we care about them?

Run-on sentences

Basically, run-on sentences are sentences that lack proper punctuation.


A run-on sentence is made up of at least two parts. Either one of these two parts (or clauses) can stand as a sentence by itself. Somehow, though, they have been connected and that can lead to some confusion by its reader.


Here’s an example of a run-on sentence:

We went to the beach it was fun to play in the sand.

Here’s the correction:   

We went to the beach. It was fun to play in the sand.


Fixing run-on sentences


There are many ways to fix run-on sentences. How you fix the sentence depends on the relationship between the two parts, or clauses. Here are some ways to fix those run-on sentences.

Fused sentences


Wrong: I am a woman I am a construction worker.

Correct: I am a woman. I am a construction worker.


Or, if you want to keep more of a connection between the two sentences, you can use a semicolon:

Correct: I am a woman; I am a construction worker.


Or, if you wanted to make a comment between the two sentences, you can use a conjunction (and, but, for, or, etc.):

Correct: I am a woman, yet I am a construction worker.

Comma-splices


Sometimes writers will connect two independent clauses by only a comma. This is called a comma-splice.


Here’s an example of a comma-splice:

I wanted to see a movie, I had to clean my room first.


When you use a comma to connect two independent clauses, it must be accompanied by a conjunction (and, but, for, or, etc.)


The correction of the above sentence is:

I wanted to see a movie, but I had to clean my room first.


If you are interested in learning more about run-on sentences and practice how to fix them, our grammar and writing 3, grammar and writing 4 and grammar and writing 5 workbooks contain sections on run-ons.