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How to Avoid Run-On Sentences

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

Instructions

  • 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."
  • FACT: Marcel Proust once wrote a grammatically sound sentence that went on for three pages.

You Will Need

  • Run-on sentence
  • Conjunction
  • Semicolon
  • Long conjunction

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