Don’t make your sentences running on forever!

What is wrong in this sentence?

My sister likes sweeping, she sweeps every weekend.

If you say that the sentences are connected improperly, you are correct. Let us try to separate them:

  • My sister likes sweeping
  • She sweeps every weekend

Both sentences can stand alone, right? They are independent clauses or simply called complete sentences. Now, if two or more independent clauses are connected in a wrong manner, you call these run-on sentences.

There are several types of run-on sentences, but the two common types are:

1. Comma Splices

These are two independent clauses connected by a comma. The first example above falls on this category. Another example is:

My mom’s a bank teller, my father’s a baker.

Two independent clauses

  • My mom’s a bank teller
  • My father’s a baker

It can be fixed in several ways.

First, you can put a period at the end of each independent clause.

My mom’s a bank teller. My father’s a baker.

Second, you can replace the comma with a semicolon (;), but remember that semicolon is only a choice of style to connect sentences that are similar and relative. This should be used sparingly.

My mom’s a bank teller; my father’s a baker.

Third, you can also add a coordinating conjunction after the comma.

My mom’s a bank teller, and my father’s a baker.

Fourth, you can transform the either of the two sentences into a dependent clause by using a subordinating conjunction.

My mom’s a bank teller while my father’s a baker.

2. Two sentences connected without any punctuation

Whether it is intentional or not, you should always check if your complete sentences are connected with the appropriate punctuations or conjunctions.

The room is quiet he must have fallen asleep.

By applying the method introduced in comma splices, it should be fixed this way:

The room is quiet. He must have fallen asleep.

The room is quiet; he must have fallen asleep.

The room is quiet, so he must have fallen asleep.

Since the room is quiet, he must have fallen asleep.

Now, knowing how to identify and learning how to correct run-on sentences will make the message clear and smooth. Can you fix the very first sentence at the top of this article?


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