Run Ons

Run on sentences occur when independent clauses lack proper punctuation


Sentences/Comma Splices/Fused Sentences

You are not allowed to join together two sentences (independent clauses) with a comma.

INCORRECT:

The wedding was scheduled for four o'clock, the bride changed her mind at two.

Both "The wedding was scheduled for four o'clock" and "the bride changed her mind at two" are complete sentences. They are also known as independent clauses. A writer may not join two independent clauses with only a comma. Doing so would cause an error called a comma splice, or it would cause a run-on sentence.


You CANNOT fix the comma splice by eliminating the comma:

INCORRECT:

The wedding was scheduled for four o'clock the bride changed her mind at two.

The above group of words is a run-on sentence.


There are four ways to fix a comma splice or fused sentence.

(Use the one that makes the most sense and/or sounds the best to you.)

Separate the two independent clauses with a period:
The wedding was scheduled for four o'clock. The bride changed her mind at two.

Join the two independent clauses with a comma AND a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, so, and yet):
The wedding was scheduled for four o'clock, but the bride changed her mind at two.

Join the two independent clauses with a colon or a semicolon followed by a transition word or phrase:
The wedding was scheduled for four o'clock; the bride changed her mind at two.

OR

The wedding was scheduled for four o'clock; however, the bride changed her mind at two.

Place a dependent word (such as after, although, because, before, even though, if, since, unless, until, when, or while) at the beginning of one of the clauses, which will change it to a dependent clause thus eliminating the problem:
Although the wedding was scheduled for four o'clock, the bride changed her mind at two.

NOTE: If the dependent clause comes at the beginning of the sentence, follow it by a comma. If it comes at the end of the sentence, do not put a comma in front of it unless it is nonessential information.