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Avoiding Run-on Sentences. CLAUSES. A CLAUSE IS A GROUP OF WORDS WITH A SUBJECT AND A VERB. AN INDEPENDENT CLAUSE CAN STAND ALONE AS A SENTENCE . A DEPENDENT CLAUSE CANNOT STAND ALONE AS A SENTENCE.

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clauses
CLAUSES
  • A CLAUSE IS A GROUP OF WORDS WITH A SUBJECT AND A VERB.
  • AN INDEPENDENT CLAUSE CAN STAND ALONE AS A SENTENCE.
  • A DEPENDENT CLAUSE CANNOT STAND ALONE AS A SENTENCE.
  • EVERY SENTENCE MUST HAVE AN INDEPENDENT CLAUSE; OTHERWISE, THE RESULT IS A SENTENCE FRAGMENT.
avoiding run on sentences
Avoiding Run-on Sentences

The length of a sentence has nothing to do with whether or not a sentence is considered a run-on. An over-exuberant, run-off-at-the-mouth, 400-word gorilla of a sentence can be structurally fine. A run-on sentence is one in which two clauses have been connected incorrectly. (If you’d like, click on the word “clauses” to review that concept.)

avoiding run on sentences1
Avoiding Run-on Sentences

Let’s think of an independent clause as an independently operated train headed west . . .

getting connected to another train headed east.

Nothing but grief will result from coupling these train clauses incorrectly! For example. . . .

Some students think they can study for an important exam by “cramming” all night, they are probably wrong.

avoiding run on sentences2
Avoiding Run-on Sentences

Some students think they can study for an important exam by “cramming” all night, they are probably wrong.

This is an example of the dreaded COMMA SPLICE!

A comma splice connects two independent clauses with only a comma.

There are several ways to fix a comma splice. . . .

avoiding run on sentences3
Avoiding Run-on Sentences

1. We can insert a period and start a new sentence.

Some students think they can study for an important exam by “cramming” all night. They are probably wrong.

2. We can insert a comma plus a coordinating conjunction.

Some students think they can study for an important exam by “cramming” all night, butthey are probably wrong.

3. We can use a semicolon.

Some students think they can study for an important exam by “cramming” all night;they are probably wrong.

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COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS, ALONG WITH A COMMA, CAN JOIN INDEPENDENT CLAUSES. Do not start a sentence with the words below.
  • AND, BUT,
  • OR, NOR,
  • FOR, SO, YET

**To avoid fragments, do not start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction

beware
Beware…………

**To avoid fragments, do not start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction**

don t commit a personal foul the dreaded fragment
Don’t commit a personal foul…the dreaded FRAGMENT
  • And no one will be admitted during the second act.
  • Or we can take the test early as well.
  • But the character does attempt to clear his wife’s name.
  • For the opening band is Lennie Kravitz
  • Nor will the movie start on time.
using coordinating conjunctions properly and but or nor for so yet
Using coordinating conjunctions properly (and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet):
  • A SIMPLE SENTENCE contains 1 independent clause
  • A COMPOUND SENTENCE contains 2 independent clauses
  • Be careful….coordinating conjunctions don’t always need a comma
let s practice
Let’s practice…….
  • Mary Lou told a tale about a male, AND she yelled to a girl wearing a string of pearls.
  • Notice how there is an independent clause on EACH SIDE OF THE CONJUNCTION. This is an example of a COMPOUND SENTENCE.
other examples
OTHER EXAMPLES…
  • Everyone took his book to class and read for an hour.
  • The sentence above is an example of a SIMPLE SENTENCE (only 1 independent clause…all we have here is a compound verb. No independent clause on each side of the conjunction.
practice
Practice
  • Mrs. Koon and her three beagles hunted all day in the swamp and then she grilled rattlesnake for dinner.
  • Mrs. Koon and her best friend Beth shopped all day and ate dinner at Manzetti’s.
simple or compound
SIMPLE OR COMPOUND?
  • Until the rain falls, we will have to water lawns less often and conserve other resources.
  • Last night Mr. Blake left a message and he reminded us of our late start day.
simple or compound punctuate accordingly
SIMPLE OR COMPOUND? PUNCTUATE ACCORDINGLY
  • You can take the test early or make it up after school.
  • I will gladly help you with the paper but I will not correct your errors for you.
  • Alicia gave me her money but did not take her receipt.
  • Leroy wrote me a love letter but he forgot to sign his name.
conjunctive adverbs along with proper punctuation can also join two independent clauses
Conjunctive Adverbs, along with proper punctuation, can also join two independent clauses
  • KNOW THESE CONJUNCTIVE ADVERBS:
  • Therefore, consequently, moreover,
  • However, besides, thus, furthermore,
  • As a result, for example, for instance,
  • Hence, still, nevertheless
slide17

These words/phrases must be incorporated into your writing. They provide clear transitions, which help you to avoid “choppiness” between ideas

  • Therefore, consequently, moreover,
  • However, besides, thus, furthermore,
  • As a result, for example, for instance,
  • Hence, still, nevertheless
when using conjunctive adverbs punctuate accordingly
When using conjunctive adverbs, punctuate accordingly:
  • We waited until the last minute to do our homework; therefore, we lost much sleep.
  • Huck and Jim have more in common than we realize; for example, both are desperately seeking freedom from society.
  • He was absent; as a result, he missed the test.
  • The storm came during the night; however, we were still prepared to take cover.
but be careful
BUT……be careful……
  • Sometimes conjunctive adverbs like HOWEVER and THEREFORE will simply interrupt one independent clause. When that is the case, punctuate accordingly:
  • I will, however, give a speech later today.
  • However, no one will see us if we are quiet.
  • You can, therefore, take the test early.
avoiding run on sentences4
Avoiding Run-on Sentences

Three Run-on Traps

There are three situations in which run-on sentences are apt to happen:

1. When a pronoun in the second clause refers to a noun in the first clause:The President’s popularity has plummeted, she apparently underestimated the opposition.

2. When a suggestion or directive occurs in the second clause:You will be responsible for this material on the final exam, study it thoroughly now.

3. When two clauses are connected by a transitional expression:Many people think protectionism can halt rising prices, however, the opposite is actually true.

avoiding run on sentences5
Avoiding Run-on Sentences

Freeing Trapped Run-ons

1.The President’s popularity has plummeted, and sheapparently underestimated the opposition.

2.You will be responsible for this material on the final exam; study it thoroughly now.

3.Many people think protectionism can halt rising prices; however, the opposite is actually true.

avoiding run on sentences6
Avoiding Run-on Sentences

Now you’ll never again write a run-on sentence!