English 101RunOn Sentences/Commas What is a Run-On sentence? A run-on sentence is an
error in which two or more sentences are written as one sentence. There are two kinds of run-
ons. The first is called a Comma Splice. A comma splice is a run-on that occurs when two
independent sentences are joined with just a comma. The second is called a Fused Sentence, this
occurs when two independent run-on sentences are joined with no punctuation.
Comma Splice: Dr. House is a world renowned doctor known for his work in plastic
surgery, he also invented a new procedure for liposuction.
Fused Sentence: Dr. House is a world renowned doctor known for his work in plastic
surgery he also invented a new procedure for liposuction.
Here are some ways of revising Comma Splices and Fused Sentences:
1. You can add a period between the independent phrases. This is easily the rule of
thumb when the two phrases are long and not closely related.
a. Dr. House is a world renowned doctor known for his work in plastic surgery. He
also invented a new procedure for liposuction.
2. You can add a semicolon between two closely related phrases that have the same
meaning. (parallel or contrasting meanings?)
a. Dr. House is a world renowned doctor known for his work in plastic surgery;
he also invented a new procedure for liposuction.
3. You may also use a coordinating conjunction to bring together two closely
related sentences of equal importance to make a compound sentence. The coordinating
conjunction you choose will indicate the relationship between the sentences. A
coordinating conjunction could be; and, or, but, for, so: words of this nature.
Dr. House is a world renowned doctor known for his work in plastic surgery, and
he invented a new procedure for Liposuction.
4. One also could add a Subordinating Conjunction or a Relative Pronoun to turn the
sentence from a run-on into one complex sentence.
Dr. House is a world renowned doctor for his work in plastic surgery and because
he invented a new procedure for liposuction.
Dr. House is a world renowned doctor for his work in plastic surgery, who
invented a new procedure for liposuction.
How would you address the redundancies “known” and “renowned “and “Dr.” and “Doctor”
in this example? Is the usage correct?
Dr. House is a world renowned plastic surgeon who invented a new liposuction procedure.
Dr. House is a world renowned doctor, known for his work in plastic surgery.
Which do you prefer?
The incomplete sentence known as sentence fragment has four distinct characteristics.
The first characteristic is that it lacks a subject.
And even form sentence fragments
The second is that it lacks a verb.
Usually the short sentence fragments.
The third is that it can lack both a subject and a verb.
Suggesting short pieces and fragments.
Lastly, it’s a dependent clause.
Because they make no sense.
Knowing the characteristics of sentence fragments should help in elimination of this writing
error. In journalism, creative writing, and advertising fragments are a used and acceptable way
of writing; however, it’s not acceptable in professional and academic writing.
Here are some examples of interesting complex sentences that can be found on the internet.
This sentence consists of “27 words to make the world do your bidding,” purportedly the
ultimate secrets of persuasion:
People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures,
allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies.1
These are from collection of one sentence stories:
UPS called to notify me that the chains for my tires to get me through the ice storm
would not be delivered yet due to adverse weather conditions.
Walking out of the grocery with banana and muffin in hand, I assured the lone woman
who offered me a kitten, "No thanks, a banana and muffin usually fill me up."
I didn't mean to cause a scene but when a store hides the Midol, what do they expect?
When asked to name the one person absent from her life that she missed the most, she
responded, "The person I hoped I'd be by this point in my life."2
There are some writers who employ extremely long sentences in their work. One of the leading
contenders for the longest sentence in English Literature is in Jonathan Coe’s “The Rotters’s
Club” (2001). The closing section of the novel is a sentence that runs to 33 pages containing
13,955 words. The Czech novel “Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age”(1964) by Bohumil
Hrabal consists of one long sentence that runs to 128 pages.3
Warren, Blair. "One Sentence Persuasion Course." Blair Warren's Course. Warren Production
Services, Inc., n.d. Web. 14 Feb 2011.
Anon . "True stories, told in one sentence." One Sentence. onesentence.org, Web. 14 Feb 2011.
Park, Ed. "One Sentence Says It All." New York Times 24 Dec. 2010: BR27. Web. 14 Feb