Run-ons - Comma Splices - Fused Sentences
Run-ons, comma splices, and fused sentences are names given to compound sentences that are not punctuated correctly.
The best way to avoid such errors is to punctuate compound sentences correctly by using one or the other of these rules.
1. Join the two independent clauses with one of the coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet), and use a
comma before the connecting word.
_________________________, and _________________________.
He enjoys walking through the country, and he often goes backpacking on his vacations.
2. When you do not have a connecting word, join two independent clauses with a semicolon (;).
He often watched TV when there were only reruns; she preferred to read instead.
3. Or when you use a connecting word other than and, but, for, or, nor, so, or yet between the two independent clauses,
such as a conjuctive adverb (see list below) a semicolon and a comma are used together to separate the two main clauses.
I wanted to go to the game; therefore, I hustled to get all my homework done.
He often watched TV when there were only reruns; however, she preferred to read instead.
Here is a list of common conjunctive adverbs.
accordingly furthermore moreover similarly
also hence namely still
anyway however nevertheless then
besides incidentally next thereafter
certainly indeed nonetheless therefore
consequently instead now thus
finally likewise otherwise undoubtedly
So, run-ons and fused sentences are terms describing two independent clauses which are joined together with no
connecting word or punctuation to separate the clauses.
Incorrect: They weren't dangerous criminals they were detectives in disguise.
Correct: They weren't dangerous criminals; they were detectives in disguise.
Incorrect: I didn't know which job I wanted I was too confused to decide.
Correct: I didn't know which job I wanted, and I was too confused to decide.
Information adapted and reformatted from the following resources:
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/598/02/ and http://www.engl.niu.edu/wac/conjadv.html
Run-ons - Comma Splices - Fused Sentences.
Directions: Label each of the sentences below as RO for run-on or CS for comma splice. Then, correct each of the
senteces using one of the methods from your handout. Remember that a run-on sentence is when two independent clauses
(an independent clause has a subject and a verb) are joined together without proper puctuation. A comma splice is when
two independent clauses are joined only using a comma and lacking a coordinating conjuntion or conjuctive adverb.
1. _______ My dad and I picked out all of the gear I needed this was no easy feat.
2. _______ I went home that day on a mission, set and determined to convince my parents to let me play
trumpet, all I needed was their signature.
3. _______ My mother agitated him and made him mad too and I came in to get something out of the
4. _______ Picking Oliver up and throwing him in my arms was the happierst thing ever, racing thoughts
were running in my mind because he could have been killed by hawks or a car.
5. _______But Mike hadn’t cried I was again defeated.
6. _______ I couldn’t take it any longer, I was tired and couldn’t hold myself up I was ridiculously cold
and too exhausted to swim.
7. _______ That day felt unread I was shocked something like that had happened to me.
8. _______ It was a Father’s Day weekend and I was in Atlanta at my sister’s house.
9. _______ I came up for breath and it turns out to be the short end of the pool.
10. _______ My eyes widen in surprise he has never offered that to anyone.
11. _______ That day we were leaving I was upset, not only did we have to leave early, the weather made
that day unkempt.
12. _______ I had taken it out, I wanted a turn first.
13. _______ In the ER, the doctor explained that the cut actually wasn’t so bad, it was only bleading
profusely due to the fact that head wounds bleed much more than other cuts.
14. _______ It was going to be a hard day we were going to pracitce how to counter atack with bamboo
15. _______ My sister and I began to pass [the basketball] together, as time went by my sister gave me a
soft pass, so I stepped up and wacked the ball to see how far it would go.
16. _______A few seconds had passed and I knew my brother was searching for us.
17. _______ I can barely run a mile without dying what makes her think I can run around the city of Solon.
18. ______ The next day my sister had a brace on her finger, I then apologized.
19. ______ My brother and I began looking around but I saw nothing then my brother saw a nice shirt and
since my mom was in the same store he took it to her to ask if she liked it.
20. _______ I got back on the bike with control, I tried to peddle fast enough to make it to practice on time.