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What is a Comma Splice?

A comma splice is a poor attempt to join two independent clauses in a sentence with just a comma. An independent clause makes a complete thought, so a simple comma is not enough to separate two independent clauses from each other. A comma splice is also called a “fused sentence.”

For example, the sentence “Today the weather is fine, I am going to go for a walk” is fused, because there are two complete thoughts in it, and just a comma to separate them.

How to Avoid or Fix a Comma Splice?

– Use semicolons. Semicolons are “stronger” punctuation marks than commas, so using them is a good way to connect two independent clauses without a coordinating conjunction (e.g. and, but).

– Make two simpler sentences from two or more independent clauses.

– Add coordinating conjunctions (and, for, so, or, nor, but, yet).

– Use subordinate conjunctions (after, although, because, since, before, how, lest).

Acceptable Cases

– If the independent clauses are short and alike in their form. For example, “The clouds parted, the sun peeked out, and I went out of my apartment.”

– In poetic writing.

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