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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE
Run-on Sentences: Part A

 
 

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.

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.

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:

  1. separating the ideas into two or more sentences, OR

  2. using a comma and a linking word, OR

  3. using a semi-colon (;), OR

  4. using a linking word with a semi-colon and a comma.

Related sections
Complex Sentences
Independent and Dependent Clauses
Linking Words
Punctuation
Sentence Errors — Run-on Sentences: Part B