Run-On Sentences Rules

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What is a Run-On Sentence?

Students who study English as a second language rather often face the problem of long sentence lengths. Sometimes the sentences they compose can be too short, or lack subject-verb agreement—in this case, they are called fragment sentences. In other cases, a sentence can contain too many ideas and independent clauses that are not separated by punctuation marks. In this instance, we are talking about a run-on sentence.

In other words, a run-on sentence is a long sentence that has not been punctuated correctly, or has no appropriate conjugation.

e.g. When we were in Louisiana, Mike said when he was a boy, his father and him used to go fishing sometimes, they would walk over 10 miles down the river and they would also sleep in forests and feed on the fish they had caught, can you imagine?

How to Fix a Run-on Sentence?

- Break a long sentence into several shorter ones.

e.g.
(Incorrect) I would appreciate your help today, I have so many things to do that I don’t know how to deal with all of them.
(Correct) I would appreciate your help today. I have so many things to do that I don’t know how to deal with all of them.

- Use an appropriate conjunction with a comma.

e.g.
(Incorrect) My sister likes sunbathing, that day was too hot even for her.
(Correct) My sister likes sunbathing, but that day was too hot even for her.

- Use a semicolon to separate two independent clauses.

e.g.
(Incorrect) We’ve run out of gas, I don’t know how we are going to get back into town
(Correct) We’ve run out of gas; I don’t know how we are going to get back into town.

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