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Mini-Lesson #33. Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences. From the UWF Writing Lab’s 101 Grammar Mini-Lessons Series.

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Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences


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    1. Mini-Lesson #33 Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences From the UWF Writing Lab’s 101 Grammar Mini-Lessons Series

    2. A comma splice occurs when only a comma separates the two complete sentences (independent clauses). A comma splice is not a comma error. A run-on occurs when two complete sentences are fused together without the proper punctuation.

    3. The comma splice and the run-on/fused sentence are two sentence errors. A comma splice results when two independent clauses are joined solely by a comma. Example: I admired Wonder Woman, for a long time she was my hero.

    4. A run-on is not a long sentence. Both the run-on and the comma splice can be two short sentences. A run-on/fused sentence, really two sentences without any punctuation, or conjunction between them, is identical to a comma splice but without the comma. Example: I admired Wonder Woman for a long time she was my hero.

    5. A period or semicolon correctly marks the sentence boundaries. Coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, and so) offer alternatives for connecting two sentences. (Use a comma preceding the coordinating conjunction.) Examples: I admired Wonder Woman. For a long time she was my hero. I admired Wonder Woman; For a long time she was my hero. I admired Wonder Woman, and for a long time she was my hero.

    6. Comma Splice Examples: • Incorrect: This company has never printed novels, textbooks are its principal publication. • Correct: This company has never printed novels; textbooks are its principal publication. • Incorrect: Wearing a seat belt is not just a good idea, it’s the law. • Correct: Wearing a seat belt is not just a good idea; it’s the law.

    7. Incorrect: Mrs. Webb listens to everyone’s opinions, then she makes up her own mind. • Correct: Mrs. Webb listens to everyone’s opinions; then she makes up her own mind. • Incorrect: Difficult puzzles first cause amazement and thought, then they create a mood of frustration and anger. • Correct: Difficult puzzles first cause amazement and thought; then they create a mood of frustration and anger.

    8. Run-ons Examples: • Incorrect: Psychohistory is a relatively new type of study it combines the insights of psychology with the data of history. • Correct: Psychohistory is a relatively new type of study; it combines the insights of psychology with the data of history.

    9. Incorrect: “You” is a second person pronoun rarely used in the South most Southerners use “y‘all” instead.” • Correct: “You” is a second person pronoun rarely used in the South; most Southerners use “y‘all” instead.” • Incorrect: Some television shows are no doubt are no doubt worthless however, there are many programs that can truly be called educational. • Correct:Some television shows are no doubt are no doubt worthless; however, there are many programs that can truly be called educational.