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What is a Run-On Sentence and How to Correct It?

A run-on sentence is a sentence made up of improperly connected independent clauses. Having a run-on sentence in your writing is evidence of poor grammar.

Kimberly Ann Potts
Kimberly Ann Potts

What is a Run-On Sentence?

A run-on sentence is a sentence made up of improperly connected independent clauses. Having a run-on sentence in your writing is evidence of poor grammar. This is because more than one independent clause should come with the correct conjunctions or punctuation in a sentence.

Examples of Run-On Sentences

Below are a few run-on sentences and an analysis showing the independent clauses they contain:

Example 1: No conjunction or punctuation

I have to go to class, I need to read.
  • Clause 1: I have to go to class.
  • Clause 2: I need to read.

Example 2: Comma splice

I love driving, I would drive every day If possible.
  • Clause 1: I love driving.
  • Clause 2: I would drive every day If possible.

Example 3: Comma splice with transition words

I lost my credit card, therefore, I couldn’t travel.
  • Clause 1: I lost my credit card.
  • Transitional expression: Therefore
  • Clause 2: I couldn’t travel.

How to Correct a Run-On Sentence

Use the following methods to correct a run-on sentence in your write-up:

Split the sentence into two and end each one with a full stop

Using a full stop is the easiest way to remove a run-on sentence. Place a full stop at the end of the first independent and the second independent clause. However, while using this method, ensure you don’t end up with short and disjointed sentences.

Example:

I love to paint faces. I would paint every face if I could.

Place a semicolon in between the sentences

Place a semicolon between two independent clauses that make up a run-on sentence to make it grammatically correct.

Example:

I love to paint faces; I would paint every face if I could.

Make one independent clause a dependent clause

Use subordinating conjunctions such as because, although, unless, etc., to turn one of the independent clauses to a dependent clause..

Example:

Because I love to paint faces, I would paint every face if I could.

Use a coordinating conjunction after a comma splice

Add coordinating conjunction after the comma when correcting a comma splice run-on sentence. Examples of coordinating conjunctions you can use are but, and, and or.

Example:

I love to paint faces, and I would paint every face if I could.

What makes a run-on sentence one is the absence of proper punctuation marks to join the independent clauses. With the above methods, you would be one step ahead in your game against using run-on sentences in your write-ups.

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Kimberly Ann Potts

My name is Kimberly. I'm an experienced copywriter and editor. I like writing about complex topics to help readers find the correct answers.


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