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Grammar and StructureGRAMMAR & STRUCTURE
Sentence Errors — Run-on Sentences: Part 1

 
 

Definition

A run-on sentence is a common writing error. When two or more sentences are combined incorrectly in one sentence, the result is a run-on sentence.


Example

Sentence #1: The student wants to pass his test.
Sentence #2: He studies every night.
Run-on: The student wants to pass his test he studies every night.


Explanation

A run-on is caused by:

  • incorrect punctuation.
  • incorrect use of linking words.
  • absence of linking words.

You can recognize a run-on error by looking at the sentence and answering the following questions:

  • Is there more than one subject? If yes, then:
  • Is there more than one verb? If yes, then:
  • Is there more than one independent clause? If yes, then:
  • Are the clauses joined by a comma and a linking word OR by a semicolon? If no, then:
  • The sentence is a run-on.

You can correct run-on errors by:

  • separating the ideas into two or more sentences, OR
  • using a comma and a linking word, OR
  • using a semi-colon (;), OR
  • using a linking word with a semi-colon and a comma.


Related Sections

Complex Sentences
Independent and Dependent Clauses
Common Linking Words and Their Uses
Commonly Used Punctuation
Sentence Errors — Run-on Sentences: Part 2