Run on Sentences and Comma splices: Part Two

Now that you recognize RUN-ONS and COMMA SPLICES, it is important to know how to correct them.

There are three methods of correction.

METHOD 1: Connect two independent clauses with a comma plus one of these coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, yet, so.

eg.   faulty: Students write papers, professors correct them.

revised: Students write papers, and professors correct them.

faulty: The men cooked dinner, the women mixed the drinks.

revised: The men cooked dinner, so the women mixed the drinks.

EXERCISE:

Change each of the following into a complete and correct sentence by placing a comma plus a conjunction where necessary.

1. It was my mom’s birthday, I called her on the phone.

2. Going out to dinner is fun it is expensive.

3. She is my roommate we split all the bills.

4. We found some shells on the beach they were beautiful.

5. I’m not sure I understand it completely I like it.

METHOD 2: Separate two independent clauses with a semicolon or a period.

eg.   faulty: Students write papers, professors correct them.

revised: Students write papers; professors correct them.

faulty: The men cooked dinner, the women mixed the drinks.

revised: The men cooked dinner. The women mixed the drinks.

In addition, connecting words such as however, therefore, consequently, nevertheless, likewise, besides, also, then, furthermore should be used after the semicolon or period–but not a comma. Because these are strong words, they should be followed by a comma. The word then is an exception; it does not generally take a comma.

eg.   – Students write papers; then professors correct them.

– The men cooked dinner; therefore, the women mixed the drinks.

– The train stops here. However, it is always late.

– I hope the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup. Nevertheless,they have a way to go yet.

EXERCISE:

Correct each of the following by placing a semicolon or period between the independent clauses. Add commas where they are needed.

1. I received the most votes therefore I was elected.

2. I want to visit him however I am not feeling well.

3. The play was a comedy, it was very funny.

4. You want your freedom nevertheless you will have to get a

job.

5. She must be out of town otherwise she would be here.

6. First we eat dinner, then we have dessert.

METHOD 3. Change one of the independent clauses into a dependent clause.

This can be done using one of the CONDITIONAL WORDS we discussed earlier.

** Remember, when a dependent clause comes at the beginning of a sentence, it is followed by a comma.

eg.   faulty: Students write papers, professors correct them.

revised: When students write papers, professors correct them.

faulty: The train stops here, it is always late.

revised: The train stops here although it is always late.

EXERCISE

Each of the following contains two independent clauses. Correct the sentence by making one of them into a dependent clause.

1. We went to the museum, Bob went to the ball game.

2. You are my sister I love you.

3. I don’t like crowds, I enjoy going to the beach.

4. The temperature dropped it started to rain.

5. I get my change, I look for a penny.

6. You were gone the plumber came.

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