In this lesson, you will learn how to identify and correct run-on sentencesA grammatical error that occurs when a sentence has two or more independent clauses joined together incorrectly.. A run-on sentence is a style error that occurs when a sentenceA group of words, phrases, or clauses that expresses a complete thought. A complete sentence has these characteristics: a capitalized first word, a subject and a predicate, and end punctuation, such as a period (.), question mark (?), or exclamation mark (!). has two or more 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. joined without punctuationMarks such as such as a comma (,), period (.), question mark (?), and exclamation mark (!), among others, that help break a writing into phrases, clauses, and sentences. Different types of punctuation marks give the reader different impressions of the writer’s purpose in that sentence. (a period(.) A punctuation mark used to separate sentences. or 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.) or a conjunctionPart of speech that joins two or more words, phrases, or clauses. Examples of conjunctions include: and, but, if, because.. A conjunction is a word that joins two or more words, phrasesA set of words that express an idea. A phrase may or may not form a complete sentence., or clausesA group of words in a sentence that contains a subject and a predicate.. Examples of conjunctions include and, but, if, and because.
There are different types of conjunctions. Coordinating conjunctionsPart 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. connect words, phrases, and independent clauses. You can think of the acronym FANBOYS—for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so—to help you remember these coordinating conjunctions.
Shelia went for a hike, and Chad went fishing.
Subordinating conjunctionsPart 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. come at the beginning of 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 ate 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. and show the relationship between the clauses they are connecting. Examples of subordinating conjunctions include after, if, while, and unless.
After the group completed the hiking trip, they stopped to get cold drinks at the general store.
The key to avoiding and revisingThe process of making changes to a work by editing and proofreading it to improve, correct, and increase clarity. run-on sentences is using proper punctuation or conjunctions. It is important to note that just because a sentence is long does not automatically mean it is a run-on. In fact, sometimes run-on sentences can be very short.
For example, this is a very short run-on sentence:
I ran he walked.
In this example, there are two independent clauses strung together in one sentence without punctuation: I ran and he walked. There are four ways to revise this sentence.
Option 1: Separate the two independent clauses into two sentences:
I ran. He walked.
Option 2: Add a comma and a coordinating conjunction:
I ran, and he walked.
Option 3: Add a semicolon:
I ran; he walked.
Option 4: Make one of the clauses into a dependent clause by adding a subordinating conjunction:
While I ran, he walked.+ PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Understanding what run-on sentences are and how to revise them will help you communicate more clearly because run-on sentences are difficult for readers to understand. It is like speaking quickly without any pauses, inflections, or breaths. People often do this when they are excited, and the listener has to ask questions to slow them down. The same is true in writing, yet no one is usually there to answer the reader's questions; fixing run-on sentences helps reduce those questions.
The following paragraphA selection of a writing that is made up of sentences formed around one main point. Paragraphs are set apart by a new line and sometimes indentation. is one long run-on sentence.
Madge knew her car would need to be fixed it developed a strange noise and she was unable to figure out what it was she hated to think about taking it to a shop because money was tight she would really like to buy a new car.
Take a look at how this example can be separated into separate sentences. Each sentence (independent clause) is a different color.
Madge knew her car would need to be fixed it developed a strange noise and she was unable to figure out what it was she hated to think about taking it to a shop because money was tight she would really like to buy a new one.
When you look at how the example can be separated into individual sentences, you can see how each contains 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.. Here is how the paragraph should look revised:
Madge knew her car would need to be fixed. It developed a strange noise, and she was unable to figure out what it was. She hated to think about taking it to a shop because money was tight. She would really like to buy a new car.
Review the following paragraph and correct any run-on sentences you find.
The teacher paused for a moment at the beginning of class to ask if anyone had any questions Aaron raised his hand and asked a question about the reading assignment that was due he had read the chapter he was unsure about the main character's job and why that was important to the story the teacher reminded the class about the chapter that described the main character's education and work experience Aaron instantly remembered the character's job he then took some time to write his reflection in his class journal.
Use proper punctuation and/or conjunctions to correct the sentences.
The teacher paused for a moment at the beginning of class to ask if anyone had any questions. Aaron raised his hand and asked a question about the reading assignment that was due. He had read the chapter, but he was unsure about the main character's job and why that was important to the story. The teacher reminded the class about the chapter that described the main character's education and work experience. Aaron instantly remembered the character's job. He then took some time to write his reflection in his class journal.
How has this lesson changed your understanding of run-on sentences?
I used to think that run-ons were just really long sentences, but now I know that it has to do with how you put together independent clauses.
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