Grammar tips: Run-ons, comma splices, fused sentences

Run-on sentence meme

“Run-ons, comma, splices, and fused sentences,” according to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, “are all names given to compound sentences [two independent sentences joined together] that are not punctuated correctly.”

For instance: They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart, they paid the salesperson immediately. Two independent sentences were “spliced” incorrectly with a comma.

There are three ways to correctly punctuate this sentence.

    1. You can separate them with a period and make them independent sentences: They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart. They paid the salesperson immediately.
    2. You can make them into a compound sentence by using a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet): They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart, and they paid the salesperson immediately.
  • You can use a semicolon with a connecting word other than one of the coordinating conjunctions, or you can use a semicolon if you do not have a connecting word (notice that the previous sentence is a compound sentence punctuated correctly using a coordinating conjunction and a comma): They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart; then, they paid the salesperson immediately. OR They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart; they paid the salesperson immediately.

 

For fun and practice, you can take a little quiz here, courtesy of Capital Community College. How did you do?

Contact (Name of Sales Rep)







Your Name*
Your Email Address*
Confirm Your Email Address*
Your Phone Number
Company Name
Item Number
Your Message*

Contact (Name of Sales Rep)







Your Name*
Your Email Address*
Confirm Your Email Address*
Your Phone Number
Company Name
Item Number
Your Message*