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Run-on Sentences

A run-on sentence, also known as a fused sentence, occurs when two or more independent clauses (complete thoughts) are improperly combined without the necessary punctuation or conjunctions to separate them. Run-on sentences can make your writing unclear and confusing. There are two main types of run-on sentences: the comma splice and the fused sentence.


1.Comma Splice: A comma splice happens when two independent clauses are joined together with just a comma but without a coordinating conjunction (e.g., and, but, or, so, for, yet, nor). This results in a run-on sentence. Here's an example:

  • Incorrect: "I wanted to go to the movies, she preferred to stay home."

  • Corrected: "I wanted to go to the movies, but she preferred to stay home."

  • Corrected: "I wanted to go to the movies. She preferred to stay home."


2.Fused Sentence: A fused sentence occurs when two independent clauses are combined with no punctuation or conjunction, creating a single, lengthy run-on sentence. Here's an example:

  • Incorrect: "She went to the store she bought some groceries."

  • Corrected: "She went to the store, and she bought some groceries."

  • Corrected: "She went to the store. She bought some groceries."


Type of run-on sentence with examples and explanations:


1.Comma Splice:

  • Definition: A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses are joined together with only a comma.

  • Example: "I wanted to go to the movies, she preferred to stay home."

  • Correction: "I wanted to go to the movies, but she preferred to stay home."

  • Explanation: The corrected sentence uses a comma and the coordinating conjunction "but" to properly join the two independent clauses, making it grammatically correct.


2.Fused Sentence (Run-On):

  • Definition: A fused sentence happens when two independent clauses are combined without any punctuation or conjunction.

  • Example: "She went to the store she bought some groceries."

  • Correction: "She went to the store. She bought some groceries."

  • Explanation: The corrected sentence separates the two independent clauses with a period, creating two distinct sentences.


3.Lack of Conjunctions:

  • Definition: This type of run-on sentence combines two independent clauses without any punctuation or conjunction.

  • Example: "I enjoy reading books I also like watching movies."

  • Correction: "I enjoy reading books, and I also like watching movies."

  • Explanation: The corrected sentence uses a comma and the coordinating conjunction "and" to join the clauses, ensuring proper punctuation and clarity.


4.Run-on List:

  • Definition: A run-on list occurs when a list of items is connected without appropriate punctuation or conjunctions.

  • Example: "I need to buy eggs milk bread and cheese."

  • Correction: "I need to buy eggs, milk, bread, and cheese."

  • Explanation: The corrected sentence uses commas to separate the items in the list, making it clear and properly punctuated.


5.Non-Parallel Structure Run-On:

  • Definition: In this type of run-on sentence, elements in a list do not follow a parallel structure.

  • Example: "She likes to swim, jogging is fun, and biking in the park."

  • Correction: "She likes to swim, jog, and bike in the park."

  • Explanation: The corrected sentence maintains parallel structure by using the same verb form for each item in the list, ensuring grammatical consistency.


6.Intertwined Independent Clauses:

  • Definition: In this type of run-on sentence, independent clauses are intertwined, making it challenging to discern where one clause ends and another begins.

  • Example: "We were running late he had to catch a train."

  • Correction: "We were running late. He had to catch a train."

  • Explanation: The corrected sentence separates the clauses with a period, clearly defining the boundary between them.


7.Sentence Fragment Run-On:

  • Definition: This type of run-on sentence occurs when one or both of the independent clauses is a sentence fragment.

  • Example: "She went to the store, bought some groceries."

  • Correction: "She went to the store and bought some groceries."

  • Explanation: The corrected sentence combines the two independent clauses into a single sentence by adding the necessary conjunction "and," eliminating the sentence fragment.


Methods of correcting run-on sentences


Correcting run-on sentences is essential for clear and grammatically sound writing. There are various methods to correct run-ons. Here are 20 methods with 5 examples for each, along with explanations:


1. Use a Period (Full Stop):

  • Run-On Sentence: "She went to the store she bought some groceries."

  • Corrected Sentence: "She went to the store. She bought some groceries."

  • Explanation: Separating the two independent clauses with a period creates two distinct sentences.


2. Use a Semicolon:

  • Run-On Sentence: "I wanted to go to the movies she preferred to stay home."

  • Corrected Sentence: "I wanted to go to the movies; she preferred to stay home."

  • Explanation: A semicolon is used to join two closely related independent clauses without a conjunction.


3. Use a Comma and a Coordinating Conjunction:

  • Run-On Sentence: "We love the beach the mountains are nice too."

  • Corrected Sentence: "We love the beach, and the mountains are nice too."

  • Explanation: The comma and coordinating conjunction "and" join the two independent clauses.


4. Use a Comma and a Subordinating Conjunction:

  • Run-On Sentence: "I'll go to the party he invites me."

  • Corrected Sentence: "I'll go to the party if he invites me."

  • Explanation: The comma and subordinating conjunction "if" turn the second clause into a dependent clause, making the sentence correct.


5. Use a Comma and a Conjunctive Adverb:

  • Run-On Sentence: "She loves reading books she, however, dislikes watching movies."

  • Corrected Sentence: "She loves reading books; she, however, dislikes watching movies."

  • Explanation: A semicolon is used before the conjunctive adverb "however" to join two independent clauses, maintaining clarity.


6.Use a Colon:

  • Run-On Sentence: "The reason is simple I want to learn."

  • Corrected Sentence: "The reason is simple: I want to learn."

  • Explanation: A colon is used to introduce an explanation or a list after an independent clause.


7.Use an Em Dash:

  • Run-On Sentence: "He is very smart he proved it in the test."

  • Corrected Sentence: "He is very smart—he proved it in the test."

  • Explanation: An em dash separates the closely related independent clauses, creating emphasis.


8.Use a Paragraph Break:

  • Run-On Sentence: "The sun is setting; the sky is painted in beautiful colors."

  • Corrected Sentence: "The sun is setting. The sky is painted in beautiful colors."

  • Explanation: Placing each independent clause in a new paragraph is an effective way to correct run-on sentences.


9.Use a Parenthetical Expression:

  • Run-On Sentence: "They are going to the beach they, in fact, love the ocean."

  • Corrected Sentence: "They are going to the beach. They, in fact, love the ocean."

  • Explanation: The independent clauses are separated by a parenthetical expression enclosed in commas.


10.Use a Relative Pronoun:

  • Run-On Sentence: "The movie was amazing I watched it last night."

  • Corrected Sentence: "The movie was amazing, which I watched last night."

  • Explanation: A relative pronoun (in this case, "which") introduces the second clause as a dependent clause.


11.Use an Appositive Phrase:

  • Run-On Sentence: "She is a great musician she, a violinist, performs beautifully."

  • Corrected Sentence: "She is a great musician; she, a violinist, performs beautifully."

  • Explanation: The independent clauses are separated by an appositive phrase, which adds extra information.


12.Use an Infinitive Phrase:

  • Run-On Sentence: "He wants to travel he hopes to visit many countries."

  • Corrected Sentence: "He wants to travel; he hopes to visit many countries."

  • Explanation: The independent clauses are divided by an infinitive phrase that provides additional context.


13. Use an Absolute Phrase:

  • Run-On Sentence: "She is a skilled writer she writes for the newspaper."

  • Corrected Sentence: "She is a skilled writer; she writes for the newspaper."

  • Explanation: An absolute phrase introduces the second independent clause, providing context.


14.Use an Adjective Clause:

  • Run-On Sentence: "The book is fantastic I just finished it."

  • Corrected Sentence: "The book is fantastic, which I just finished."

  • Explanation: The adjective clause "which I just finished" modifies the noun in the first clause.


15.Use an Adverbial Clause:

  • Run-On Sentence: "He was tired he had stayed up all night."

  • Corrected Sentence: "He was tired because he had stayed up all night."

  • Explanation: The adverbial clause "because he had stayed up all night" explains the reason in the second clause.


16.Use an Ellipsis:

  • Run-On Sentence: "She is coming to the party she is bringing a surprise."

  • Corrected Sentence: "She is coming to the party... she is bringing a surprise."

  • Explanation: An ellipsis is used to indicate an intentional pause or omission between the clauses.


17.Use a Quotation:

  • Run-On Sentence: "He told me to be careful I remember his words."

  • Corrected Sentence: "He told me to be careful: 'I remember his words.'"

  • Explanation: The colon introduces a quotation that relates to the first clause.


18.Use a Dash and a Coordinating Conjunction:

  • Run-On Sentence: "She enjoys painting it's her favorite hobby."

  • Corrected Sentence: "She enjoys painting—it's her favorite hobby."

  • Explanation: A dash adds emphasis and the coordinating conjunction "it's" connects the clauses.


19.Use a Parenthesis:

  • Run-On Sentence: "The event was fantastic she was there (I saw her)."

  • Corrected Sentence: "The event was fantastic (she was there—I saw her)."

  • Explanation: Parentheses set off the information, and dashes separate the clauses within the parentheses.


20.Use a Hyphen:

  • Run-On Sentence: "He's an all-rounder he can play any sport."

  • Corrected Sentence: "He's an all-rounder—he can play any sport."

  • Explanation: A hyphen adds emphasis, making it clear that the second clause is related to the first.


Exercise

identify run-on sentences. After each sentence, indicate whether it is a run-on sentence or not. I'll provide the answers at the end.

  1. She went to the store she bought some groceries.

  2. The party was fun many friends attended.

  3. I'll be there in a minute please wait for me.

  4. He wants to study abroad however, he hasn't chosen a country yet.

  5. The book was interesting I couldn't put it down.

  6. The weather is perfect for a picnic but I have to work.

  7. I want to go to the beach the mountains sound appealing too.

  8. It's raining heavily we need to postpone the game.

  9. She loves playing the piano she practices for hours.

  10. I'm not sure what to do maybe I'll ask for advice.

  11. He's a great chef he's also a talented musician.

  12. The concert was sold out they couldn't get tickets.

  13. The cat the dog are playing in the yard.

  14. We'll visit the museum we'll also explore the art gallery.

  15. She's allergic to seafood she can't eat shrimp.

  16. He's neither a painter nor a sculptor he's a skilled musician.

  17. She enjoys dancing she's also a talented singer.

  18. I don't like mushrooms I'll eat the pasta without them.

  19. He's tired he's determined to finish his work.

  20. You can either go to the zoo you can go to the botanical garden.

  21. It's raining heavily the soccer game is postponed.

  22. I'm running late I'll call you when I'm on my way.

  23. She's a vegetarian she avoids eating meat.

  24. The restaurant was full they had to wait for a table.

  25. They both enjoy hiking they also love camping in the mountains.

  26. He worked hard he couldn't achieve his goals.

  27. She can play the piano she can sing beautifully.

  28. She can swim she can't dive.

  29. He's neither tall nor short he's of average height.

  30. He wanted to buy a new car he ended up getting a used one.

Answers:

  1. Run-on

  2. Run-on

  3. Not a run-on

  4. Not a run-on

  5. Run-on

  6. Not a run-on

  7. Run-on

  8. Not a run-on

  9. Run-on

  10. Not a run-on

  11. Not a run-on

  12. Not a run-on

  13. Run-on

  14. Not a run-on

  15. Not a run-on

  16. Not a run-on

  17. Not a run-on

  18. Run-on

  19. Not a run-on

  20. Not a run-on

  21. Run-on

  22. Not a run-on

  23. Not a run-on

  24. Run-on

  25. Not a run-on

  26. Run-on

  27. Not a run-on

  28. Not a run-on

  29. Not a run-on

  30. Not a run-on

Answer with corrected run-

  1. She went to the store; she bought some groceries.

  2. The party was fun; many friends attended.

  3. I'll be there in a minute; please wait for me.

  4. He wants to study abroad; however, he hasn't chosen a country yet.

  5. The book was interesting; I couldn't put it down.

  6. The weather is perfect for a picnic, but I have to work.

  7. I want to go to the beach; the mountains sound appealing too.

  8. It's raining heavily; we need to postpone the game.

  9. She loves playing the piano; she practices for hours.

  10. I'm not sure what to do; maybe I'll ask for advice.

  11. He's a great chef; he's also a talented musician.

  12. The concert was sold out; they couldn't get tickets.

  13. The cat and the dog are playing in the yard.

  14. We'll visit the museum; we'll also explore the art gallery.

  15. She's allergic to seafood; she can't eat shrimp.

  16. He's neither a painter nor a sculptor; he's a skilled musician.

  17. She enjoys dancing; she's also a talented singer.

  18. I don't like mushrooms; I'll eat the pasta without them.

  19. He's tired; he's determined to finish his work.

  20. You can either go to the zoo; you can go to the botanical garden.

  21. It's raining heavily; the soccer game is postponed.

  22. I'm running late; I'll call you when I'm on my way.

  23. She's a vegetarian; she avoids eating meat.

  24. The restaurant was full; they had to wait for a table.

  25. They both enjoy hiking; they also love camping in the mountains.

  26. He worked hard; he couldn't achieve his goals.

  27. She can play the piano; she can sing beautifully.

  28. She can swim; she can't dive.

  29. He's neither tall nor short; he's of average height.

  30. He wanted to buy a new car; he ended up getting a used one.


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