Monday, November 27, 2017

Writing Tip 8: How to fix run-on sentences

Run-on sentences occur when two simple sentences are written as one but are not properly connected.

Example of a run-on: James went to the gym he worked out for an hour.

There are three ways you can fix this (or any run-on). The first way is to add a conjunction to where the first sentence (or clause) ends. Conjunctions are words such as: and, but, or, so.

Fixed: James went to the gym and he worked out for an hour.

The second way is to turn it into two separate sentences. Again, find where the first sentence ends. From here, add a period or other end punctuation to end the sentence. Make sure you capitalize the first letter of the next sentence.

Fixed: James went to the gym. He worked out for an hour.

The third way is to use a semi-colon. A semi-colon (;) can be used to act as a conjunction (sort of) in this case. Like the other two ways, find the ending of the first sentence and place a semi-colon there.

Fixed: James went to the gym; he worked out for an hour.

Do you understand all the ways you can use to fix run-ons? Do you? Do you really? Okay, good. Just wanted to make sure. Anywho, there is one more thing you have to know (about run-ons, not life). Never, ever (and I mean never) use a comma to fix a run-on. When you do this, it becomes another grammatical error called a comma splice. Why? I do not know. That’s just how English is.

So, DO NOT USE A COMMA TO FIX A RUN-ON. Instead, use the other ways I talked about.

If you still don’t fully understand run-ons or you want some practice questions to work on your skills, check out my Grammar Better workbook series. They're easy-to-use workbooks with plenty of examples and lots of questions to challenge your understanding of grammar. Click here for a preview.

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