Punctuation: Fragments/Run-ons/Comma Splices
Some writers may write sentences that contain two complete ideas, punctuated only with a comma or with no punctuation at all. Both are wrong.
A complete sentence (also known as an independent clause) is a sentence that can stand on its own.
A run-on sentence, or a comma splice, occurs when two complete sentences are written together with no punctuation or with only a comma to separate them.
Look at the sentences below. They are examples of run-on sentences and comma splices.
- She walked the dog he fed the cat.
- She walked the dog, he fed the cat. [comma splice]
- I’ve always wanted to go to Reno it’s wonderful there.
- I’ve always wanted to go to Reno, it’s wonderful there. [comma splice]
- My father designs and installs wind turbines he travels all over the Saudi Arabia as an energy consultant.
Notice that we have two ideas in two independent clauses:
My father installs and designs wind turbines.
He travels all over Saudi Arabia as an energy consultant.
To fix a run-on sentence, determine where one MAIN IDEA ends and another one begins. Run-on sentences can be corrected in 3 ways:
She walked the dog. He fed the cat.
I’ve always wanted to go to Reno; it’s wonderful there.
These words will need a comma before the word: and, but, for, or, nor, yet, so.
Words such as however, nevertheless, therefore, finally, etc. will need a semi-colon and a comma.
She walked the dog, and he fed the cat.
I’ve always wanted to go to Reno; however, I haven’t gone yet.
Last updated December 17, 2015