A comma spliceType of run-on sentence that occurs when two independent clauses (two complete sentences) are joined with a comma instead of a period, semicolon, or comma with a conjunction. is a type of run-on sentenceA grammatical error that occurs when a sentence has two or more independent clauses joined together incorrectly. that occurs when two independent clausesPart of a sentence that contains a subject and a predicate and can stand on its own as a complete sentence. Example independent clause: The boy ate the freshly picked apple with delight. The subject is the boy, the predicate is the verb ate, plus the modifiers the freshly picked apple with delight. are incorrectly joined with a comma.(,) A punctuation mark used to group and separate information in sentences. To fix a comma splice, you would need to use a semicolon (;) A punctuation mark used to connect major parts of sentences of equal grammatical rank. For example, semicolons are used to connect two independent clauses into one sentence.instead of a comma or a comma followed by a conjunctionPart of speech that joins two or more words, phrases, or clauses. Examples of conjunctions include: and, but, if, because.. You could also use a period to make the comma splice into two separate sentences.
This is an example of a comma splice:
I ran to the store, I bought Rocky Road ice cream.
This sentence is made up of two independent clauses separated by a comma, which makes it a comma splice. An independent clause is a group of words that can stand on its own as a complete sentence, meaning that it has a subjectIn grammar, a part of speech that refers to the “doer” in the sentence (who or what). A subject is usually a person, place or thing. and a predicatePart of a sentence or a clause that has a verb and any modifiers or objects. Example: The girl went for a walk. The subject is the girl. The predicate is went for a walk..
I ran to the store: independent clause (subject I + predicate ran to the store); I bought Rocky Road ice cream: independent clause (subject I + verb bought )
You can fix a comma splice error in much the same way that you can fix a run-on sentence:
Option 1: Add a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) after the comma.
I ran to the store, and I bought Rocky Road ice cream.
Option 2: Replace the comma with a period and create two sentences.
I ran to the store. I bought Rocky Road ice cream.
Option 3: Replace the comma with a semicolon. Do not capitalize the word after the semicolon unless it is a proper nounThe name of a person place or thing. Proper nouns should be capitalized. Examples: person: George Washington; place: The White House; thing: The Washington Monument..
I ran to the store; I bought Rocky Road ice cream.
Option 4: If both independent clauses share the same subject, delete the subject in the second independent clause, and replace the comma with a conjunction.
I ran to the store and bought Rocky Road ice cream.
Option 5: Change one of the independent clauses into a dependent clausePart of a sentence that contains a subject and a verb but is unable to stand on its own because it is incomplete in some way. Example of a dependent clause: Because it was a freshly picked apple, the boy at it with delight. In this sentence, Because it was a freshly picked apple is a dependent clause. It has a subject (it) and a verb (was), but it cannot stand on its own without the second part of the sentence. by adding a subordinating conjunctionPart of speech that connects dependent clauses. A subordinating conjunction comes at the beginning of a dependent clause and shows the relationship between the clauses it connects. Examples of subordinating conjunctions include: after, if, while, unless. (because, although, while, and since are just a few). A dependent clause is a group of words that cannot stand on its own, meaning that it is missing a subject, a predicate (a verb plus any modifiersA word or phrase that changes or specifies the meaning of another word, usually the subject or the verb. Example: The red ball quickly bounced over the fence. The adjective red modifies the subject, the ball. Also, the adverb quickly modifies the verb bounced. explaining what the subject does), or both.
After I ran to the store, I bought Rocky Road ice cream.+ PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Understanding how to avoid comma splices will help you communicate your ideas more clearly when writing essaysA short piece of writing that focuses on at least one main idea. Some essays are also focused on the author's unique point of view, making them personal or autobiographical, while others are focused on a particular literary, scientific, or political subject. in college or sending emails at work.
Notice how sentences with a comma splice can be revisedThe process of making changes to a work by editing and proofreading it to improve, correct, and increase clarity. using different punctuation or wording.
Comma splice: The musician left home at a young age, he wanted to pursue his dream on his own.
This sentence contains a comma splice because it has two independent clauses joined with a comma.
The musician left home at a young age (independent clause), he wanted to pursue his dream on his own (independent clause).
The most common way to revise the sentence is by adding a coordinating conjunctionPart of speech that connects words, phrases, and independent clauses. The acronym FANBOYS—for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so—can help you remember coordinating conjunctions. after the comma to join the two clauses together.
The musician left home at a young age, for he wanted to pursue his dream on his own.
Another way to revise this sentence is to separate it into two sentences by using a period between the independent clauses.
The musician left home at a young age. He wanted to pursue his dream on his own.
You can also revise this sentence by using a semicolon between the independent clauses. A semicolon acts like a period, but the second independent clause does not start with a capital letter.
The musician left home at a young age; he wanted to pursue his dream on his own.
The last way to revise a comma splice is to change one of the independent clauses into a dependent clause by adding a subordinating conjunction.
The musician left home at a young age because he wanted to pursue his dream on his own.
In the following exercises, identify and correct the comma splices.
A. Running to catch the train, I thought for sure I was going to be late on my first day.
B. Her bag was heavy, it was filled with books needed for her research paper.
Revise the sentence containing the comma splice by separating it into two sentences.
Her bag was heavy. It was filled with books needed for her research paper.
A. Some people enjoy playing video games, playing all day can be too much.
B. Living in a large, vibrant city has many advantages for young adults just starting out on their own.
Revise the sentence containing the comma splice by using a comma with a coordinating conjunction.
Some people enjoy playing video games, but playing all day can be too much.
A. Jonathan works full time as a cook in a restaurant, and he takes classes during the day because he wants to be a civil engineer.
B. Maggie prepared diligently for the marathon, it would be her first one ever.
Revise the sentence containing a comma splice by using a semicolon.
Maggie prepared diligently for the marathon; it would be her first one ever.
A. Malik went to see his professor on a regular basis, he was falling behind in class.
B. After running into her best friend at the store, Jessica changed her plans for the night and went to the barbeque.
Revise the sentence containing a comma splice by using a subordinating conjunction.
Although Malik went to see his professor on a regular basis, he was falling behind in class.
How will avoiding comma splices help your writing in college and beyond?
Avoiding comma splices will help my writing be clear and make a good impression on professors and employers.
There are many different conjunctions that can be used to fix a comma splice. How does the meaning of the following sentence change depending on whether you use and or because?
When and is used, it seems as if the father went into the hospital unexpectedly while Jonathan was in New Orleans. When because is used, the meaning changes. It appears that the reason Jonathan goes to New Orleans is because his father was hospitalized.
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