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Run-on Sentences, Comma Splices and Sentence Fragments.

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Presentation on theme: "Run-on Sentences, Comma Splices and Sentence Fragments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Run-on Sentences, Comma Splices and Sentence Fragments

2 What kind of sentence is this? Knowing that millions of people around the world would be watching in person and on television and expecting great things from him – at least one more gold medal for America, if not another world record – during this, his fourth and surely his last appearance in the World Olympics, and realizing, that his legs could no longer carry him down the runway with the same blazing speed and confidence in making a huge, eye-popping leap that they were capable of a few years ago when he set world records in the 100-metre dash and in the 400-metre relay and won a silver medal in the long jump, the renowned sprinter and track-and-field personality, Carl Lewis, who had known pressure from fans and media before but never, even as a professional runner, this kind of pressure, made only a few appearances in races during the few months before the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, partly because he was afraid of raising expectations even higher and he did not want to be distracted by interviews and adoring fans who would follow him into stores and restaurants demanding autographs and photo-opportunities, but mostly because he wanted to conserve his energies and concentrate, like a martial arts expert, on the job at hand: winning his favourite competition, the long jump, and bringing home another Gold Medal for the United States, the most fitting conclusion to his brilliant career in track and field.

3 Definition of a run-on sentence A sentence in which two or more independent clauses are joined with no punctuation or conjunction at all. The sample on the last slide was NOT a run- on sentence! It contained only ONE independent clause. A run-on sentence is not simply a very long sentence.

4 How can I fix a run-on sentence? We have established that a run-on sentence is a sentence that contains (at least) two independent clauses. We can fix a run-on sentence by: – Writing the independent clauses as separate sentences by separating them with a period – Inserting a semi-colon between the independent clauses – Inserting a conjunction (such as ‘and’ or ‘but’) between the independent clauses

5 Writing the independent clauses as separate sentences Example of a run-on sentence: The bus is late we won’t make it to the concert on time. Correction: The bus is late. We won’t make it to the concert on time.

6 Inserting a semi-colon between the independent clauses Example of a run-on sentence: The bus is late we won’t make it to the concert on time. Correction: The bus is late; we won’t make it to the concert on time.

7 Inserting a conjunction between the independent clauses Example of a run-on sentence: The bus is late we won’t make it to the concert on time. Correction: The bus is late, so we won’t make it to the concert on time.

8 Inserting a conjunction between the independent clauses Generally you would place a comma followed by a conjunction separating the independent clauses. It is NOT correct to simply insert a comma between independent clauses. To do so would create a….

9 Comma Splice A comma splice occurs when independent clauses are connected by only a comma. If you use a comma to connect independent clauses, the comma must be accompanied by a conjunction such as ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘for’, ‘nor’, ‘yet’, ‘or’, ‘so’.

10 Comma Splice You would correct a comma splice as you would a run-on sentence: – Writing the independent clauses as separate sentences – Inserting a semi-colon between the independent clauses – Inserting a conjunction (such as ‘and’ or ‘but’) between the independent clauses

11 Comma Splice Example of a comma splice: It’s getting late, I’m tired. Corrections: It’s getting late. I’m tired. It’s getting late; I’m tired. It’s getting late, and I’m tired.

12 Sentence Fragment A fragment is an incomplete sentence. A sentence fragment does not contain an independent clause. There needs to be proper subject-verb agreement for a sentence to stand on its own. A ‘fragment’ of a sentence does not give us the ‘complete thought’.

13 Sentence Fragment Example: Sailing into the new world in an effort to make a better life for his family. This is a verbal phrase that wants to modify something. The real subject of the sentence has yet to be inserted at the end of this fragment.

14 Sentence Fragment Example: All the workers picketing at the plant last month. An ‘–ing’ verb form without an auxiliary form to accompany it can never be a verb.

15 Sentence Fragment Example: Even though she had the best marks in the class. This is an example of a ‘dependent clause’. This fragment needs to be followed by an independent clause. We know that this sentence cannot stand by itself because of the subordinating conjunction ‘even though’.

16 Sentence Fragment Just as a very long sentence is not necessarily a ‘run-on’ sentence, a very short sentence need not be a ‘fragment’. For example: Go! I ate. It’s gone.

17 Reference A Good 200-Word Sentence. Retrieved February 3, 2008, from n-on.htm n-on.htm


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