Eliminate Run-on Sentences


Last week we discussed how to write great paragraphs, now let’s fix the problem of run-on sentences. What exactly is a run-on sentence?

A run-on sentence is a sentence in which two or more independent clauses are joined together without an appropriate punctuation or connecting word. In other words, trying to join two complete sentences with just a comma. A definite amateur mistake. The good news is, fixing run-on sentences is among the easiest proofreading skills to master.

How to Fix Run-On Sentences

There are five different ways to fix run-on sentences.

  1. Separate the run-on into two or more sentences.
  2. Add a semi-colon between the clauses.
  3. Add a comma, then a conjunction after the first independent clause.
  4. Add a subordinating conjunction to one of the clauses.
  5. Change the second clause to a phrase starting with an __ing word.

Now that you know what a run-on sentence is and know how to fix it, it’s time to search out and destroy those run-on sentences!

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2 comments
  1. Eliminate them unless you mean to write them, which I do on occasion for dramatic flow…..but other than that yes, eliminate them post-haste. Good suggestions!

    • 1authorcygnetbrown said:

      Yeah, I can see using them in conversation or in a first person narrative. As with every writing rule, learn the rules, and then determine how you can break them!

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