Skip to main content

Run-on Sentences and Comma Splices

A run-on sentence has two independent clauses, as the following.

Jim prepared well for the examination he passed in it.

Here, the sentence has actually two independent sentences and there is no punctuation or conjunction to separate them. This is an abject use of language. In British and American English, this kind of writing is a grammatical error, and should be avoided.

To avoid the error, you may use a comma in the middle of two sentences, as in:

Jim prepared well for the examination, he passed in it.

But this sort of sentence is known as a comma splice. This is also an indefensible mistake. You should never use two independent sentences in a single sentence with a comma or without any punctuation. To make it correct, the only way is adding a conjunction like ‘and’ or ‘but’ thus making one of the clauses dependent on the other.

Jim prepared well for the examination, and he passed in it.

When separating two independent clauses in a sentence, the correct punctuation to use is always a semicolon.

Jim prepared well for the examination; he passed in it.

So, there are three ways you can correct a run-on sentence or a comma splice.

1. By adding a conjunction like ‘and or ‘but.’

2. By replacing a comma in a comma splice with a semicolon.

3. By writing the independent clauses as independent sentences separated by the period.

Though this is the case, in poetry, comma splices may be used and are generally accepted as correct. Also, in very simple small sentences, people can go well without the semicolon.

Jack ran, Jill followed.

In writing, run-on sentences and comma splices are a very ridiculous construction. You should analyze your commas well to avoid it. Also, overusing commas is not a good practice in writing. You should check out the comma rules of punctuation.

History Today

John Steinbeck secured Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath in 1940.

Henry David Thoreau, American author died in 1862. Tributes to him.

Theodore White, American author was born in 1915.

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

Comments

  1. Some excellent advice here. I spend time with people who really want to write but who often struggle with the basics.

    I'm trying on my blog (just started) to offer advice on writing some of the mundane, but important, projects that they might need on a daily basis.

    http://howtowriteeasy.blogspot.com/

    Enjoyed your blog.

    Regards

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated very strictly

Popular posts from this blog

What Is the Difference Between Hardcover and Paperback?

Today, my reader, Rahman contacted me with a doubt:

Dear Lenin, would you explain why there are two types of books: hardcover and paperback?
This is quite a simple affair and there are explanatory articles to be found at various places on the Net. Here is my addition.

Hardcover

A hardcover aka hardback is a book bound with thick protective cover, with usually a paper or leather dust jacket over the main cover. The aim of hardcover is protection and durability. These books are mainly for long-term use and collectors’ editions. Hardcover books last far longer than the corresponding paperbacks. They do not get damaged easily thus making them perfect for reference guides, great literary works, etc.

In addition, there is a difference in the type of paper used to print hardcover books. The paper used is long-lasting acid-free type. Acid-free paper has a pH value of 7 (neutral) which makes it highly durable. The papers are stitched and glued to the spine.

Hardbacks are prepared for commercial …

En Dash, Em Dash, and Hyphen

We have three types of dashes in use: The hyphen, En Dash, and the Em Dash. In this post, we will see how to use them all correctly.

Hyphen (-)

The hyphen is the minus key in Windows-based keyboards. This is a widely used punctuation mark. Hyphen should not be mistaken for a dash. Dash is different and has different function than a hyphen.

A hyphen is used to separate the words in a compound adjective, verb, or adverb. For instance:

The T-rex has a movement-based vision.
My blog is blogger-powered.
John’s idea was pooh-poohed.


The hyphen can be used generally for all kinds of wordbreaks.

En Dash (–)

En Dash gets its name from its length. It is one ‘N’ long (En is a typographical unit that is almost as wide as 'N'). En Dash is used to express a range of values or a distance:

People of age 55–80 are more prone to hypertension.
Delhi–Sidney flight was late by three hours.


In MS Word, you can put an En Dash either from the menu, clicking Insert->Symbol or by the key-combination, Ctrl + Num…

What Is the Meaning of the Word 'Ghajini'? Story and Trivia of Aamir Khan's New Film [Special]

[Special Entry]



Aamir Khan's latest film is titled a little weirdly for the taste of Hindi filmgoers. 'Ghajini': They have never heard of such a name, and such a word never existed in Hindi or in any other Indian language.

The name Ghajini is the name of the villain of the film. In Tamil version, the name of the villain was Laxman.

As a Tamil moviegoer, I have already watched Ghajini and know the story in full.

So, What Does the Title Mean?

In Tamil, the title of the film is inspired by the story of Mahmud of Ghazni, an ancient invader of India. This person was so persistent in invading India that he continued trying after several failures. In the film too, the protagonist is such persistent in finding out and killing the villain of the film, who had killed his girlfriend, Kalpana (played by Asin). Aamir's Character (named Sanjay Ramaswamy in Tamil), is a short-term amnesiac, who cannot remember anything more than fifteen minutes.

You may ask then how the Ghazni became…