Jesse loves to write poetry he’s a talented writer.
The sentence is wrong because “Jesse likes to write poetry” and “He’s a talented writer” can both stand as complete sentences. Therefore, we can’t merge them into a single sentence without separating them in some way.
It’s a “run-on sentence.” It’s not good enough to join the two thoughts with a comma. That’s called a “comma splice”: Jesse stopped at the grocery store, he needed a lunch for the field trip tomorrow.
If you have two independent clauses, they need to be separated by something more powerful than a comma.
A clause is a group of words that contains both a subject and a predicate.
► Dependent clauses cannot stand alone as sentences: Although I was on time for work Because Alice was the first one in line ► Independent clauses can stand alone as sentences: Gary did want the sandwich My brother, Greg, was late for the meeting
► Make the two clauses into two sentences: WrongRight Brandon played drums in the band it was a hard rock band. Brandon played drums in the band. It was a hard rock band.
► Use a semi-colon WrongRight Craig accepted Lisa’s gift it was nice. Craig accepted Lisa’s gift; it was nice.
► Use a comma and a coordinating conjuction (and, but, or, for, yet, nor, or so): WrongRight It was snowing we forgot to bring our coats. It was snowing, but we forgot to bring our coats.
Use a comma and a subordinating conjunction (after, although, before, unless, as, because, even though, if, since, until, when, while, etc.) WrongRight Jessica and Waylon like pizza Allison doesn’t. Though Jessica and Waylon like pizza, Allison doesn’t.
► Use a semi-colon and a transition (however, moreover, on the other hand, nevertheless, instead, also, consquently, otherwise, as a result, etc.) WrongRight I thought the colors would go together well I was mistaken. I thought the colors would go together well; however, I was mistaken.
Getting these things right isn’t hard. They have more to do with habits of carefulness than with any great knowledge of writing.
Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity. St. Augustine
We first make our habits, and then our habits make us. John Dryden
Laziness grows on people; it begins in cobwebs and ends in iron chains. Thomas Buxton
Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. Mortimer Caplan
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