Sentence Structure Errors
Run-on Sentences

Run-on sentence

A run-on sentence is one which has two principal clauses without the proper punctuation or conjunction joining them. The phrase run-on sentence does not refer to the length of the sentence, for a run-on sentence could be either long or short.

 It was time to go home it was getting dark.

This sentence has two principal clauses: It was time to go home and it was getting dark. Both of these clauses make sense by themselves.

Correcting a run-on sentence

Correction 1: Join the two principal clauses by using a semicolon.

 It was time to go home; it was getting dark.

Correction 2: Make the two principal clauses two separate sentences. However, the problem with this correction is there are now two short sentences.

 It was time to go home. It was getting dark.

Correction 3: Subordinate one idea to the other so that they are no longer equal. Then a comma can be used.

 Because it was getting dark, it was time to go home.
 It was time to go home because it was getting dark.

Correction 4: Use a coordinate conjunction to join the two principal clauses.

 It was getting dark, so it was time to go home.
Practice

Correct the following two run-on sentences, using the most effective method.

  1. It is almost five o'clock we will be late for the concert.
  2. At the camp the boys played soccer, the girls played tennis.

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