Comma Splice Run-on Sentences and How to Fix Them
Remember, a run-on sentence happens when a writer joins two independent clauses without correct punctuation. See the example below. How many independent clauses does it have?
I can run five miles this used to be difficult for me.
In the example above, there are two independent clauses: I can run five miles and this used to be difficult for me. Because they both express a complete idea, those clauses cannot be placed together without any punctuation.
How to Identify a Comma Splice Run-on Sentence (or comma splice)
Sometimes writers try to separate independent clauses with a comma, which is incorrect. When that happens, a comma splice has been created. See the example below:
Comma splice: Ben ate all of his candy, now he is sick.
So, a comma splice is when two or more independent clauses are joined with only a comma.
How to Fix Comma Splices
Fixing comma splices is similar to fixing run-on sentences. We can add a coordinating conjunction to join them, separate the sentences with a period, or connect the sentences with a semicolon.
Let’s look at the comma splice example from the first part of this lesson:
Ben ate all of his candy, now he is sick.
There are three ways to fix this comma splice run-on sentence:
1. Add a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) to join the sentences, and place a comma before the conjunction:
Ben ate all of his candy, and now he is sick.
2. Separate the sentences with a period.
Ben ate all of his candy. Now he is sick.
3. Use a semicolon to show a close relationship between the two sentences.
Ben ate all of his candy; now he is sick.
1. True or False: A comma splice is when two independent clauses are connected with a comma.
2. True or False: Fixing a comma splice is similar to fixing a run-on sentence.
3. Is the following a comma splice? I love to see a rainbow, it makes me feel happy.
4. Is the following a comma splice? Kelly forgot her bag, will you take it to her?
5. Is the following a comma splice? My friend, Macey, lives in Scotland.
6. Is the following a comma splice? Please go to the store, here is a list of things we need.
7. Is the following a comma splice? I like cheese, especially cheddar cheese.
8. The following passage contains comma splice. What is the best way to correct the comma splice?
They are driving too fast, I hope they don’t crash.
- They are driving too fast I hope they don’t crash.
- They are driving too fast so I hope they don’t crash.
- They are driving too fast; I hope they don’t crash.
- They are driving too fast, I hope they don’t crash!
9. The following passage contains comma splice. What is the best way to correct the comma splice?
We found a lost dog, he was not wearing a collar.
- We found a lost dog but, he was not wearing a collar.
- We found a lost dog although he was not wearing a collar.
- We found a lost dog he, was not wearing a collar.
- We found a lost dog, but he was not wearing a collar.
10. In the passage below, which sentences all contain comma splices?
(1) Preparing for a college exam involves many steps. (2) First, actively listen to your instructor’s lecture. (3) Take notes and think about what your instructor is saying, you should not allow yourself to check emails and text messages. (4) Make sure you write down key terms, definitions, dates, and examples, second, read the assigned chapters in your textbook and take notes on what you read. (5) Third, every day before the exam, review your lecture and textbook notes for about ten minutes, if you have a lot of definitions to learn, you might want to make flash cards and study them, too, this will keep the ideas fresh in your mind. (6) If you follow these steps, you will be prepared on exam day.
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