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How to Avoid Run-On Sentences

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Uploaded on Apr 28, 2010

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A run-on sentence comprises two parts that should stand alone as separate sentences, but have been combined into one overlong sentence.


Step 1: Create two sentences
Break the two independent clauses in a run-on into two sentences. For example, rewrite the run-on sentence, "The sky is red it will rain tomorrow," as "The sky is red. It will rain tomorrow."

Tip
An independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought.

Step 2: Use a conjunction
Connect the two independent clauses with a comma followed by a conjunction, such as and, but, for, nor, yet, or, or so. For example, rewrite "The sky is red it will rain tomorrow" as "The sky is red, so it will rain tomorrow."

Step 3: Use a semicolon
Connect the two independent clauses with a semicolon if the clauses are short and closely related. For example, rewrite "The sky is red it will rain tomorrow" as "The sky is red; it will rain tomorrow."

Step 4: Use a long conjunction
Connect the two independent clauses with a longer conjunction; such as however, moreover, nevertheless, therefore, or consequently. Place a semicolon in front and a comma behind the conjunction. For example, rewrite "The sky is red it will rain tomorrow" as "The sky is red; consequently, it will rain tomorrow."

Did You Know?
Marcel Proust once wrote a grammatically sound sentence that went on for three pages.

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