Last week, we focused on the major grammar error of fragments. Another major grammar error that’s important to correct in your own writing and to teach your children to correct in their own writing is a run-on sentence. What is a run-on? It occurs when two complete sentences are joined incorrectly. Here are some examples:
Regular Run-ons – I like to call this example a “regular” run-on because it’s the most common I see in my students’ essays. This occurs when you use a coordinating conjunction to join two complete sentences without using a comma before the coordinating conjunction.
Example of error: I went to the store and I bought some broccoli.
Comma Splices – Comma Splices simply are a comma between two complete sentences.
Example of error: I went to the store, I bought some broccoli.
Fused Sentences – This error occurs when the writer fused two sentences together without the proper punctuation.
Example of error: I went to the store I bought some broccoli
Ways to correct all of the above:
Add a comma before the coordinating conjunction~I went to the store, and I bought some broccoli.
Make one clause dependent~Because I went to the store, I bought some broccoli.
Add a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb~I went to the store; therefore, I bought some broccoli.
Make two sentences~I went to the store. I bought some broccoli.
For more on run-ons, see Purdue Owl’s Run-ons page.