The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Student Learning
Waikato Home Waikato Home > Student Life > Student Learning > Grammar
Staff + Student Login

Key:

Hover over the grey underlined or bold words for pop-up notes.

~~~

*Asterisk = examples of errors or poor constructions*.

Student Learning: Grammar

Comma Splice (AKA 'Run-on sentences')

Two-page lesson

  1. 4.1 The problem:

    This lesson describes the problem of run-on sentences (an incorrect use of the comma) and how to fix it.
    A run-on sentence is where two independent stand-alone sentences have been joined together with insufficient punctuation or joining words. Often students join such sentences only with a comma (which is why they are sometimes called comma splice). The method you choose to fix a run-on sentence depends on the context and the meaning you intended.

Note: these examples show the problem of run-on sentences:
*We learned that song when we were in Ukestan, an old man in a laundromat hummed it to us.* (Note: Asterisks mean that this sentence is poor.)

*The local team is looking confident heading into the game, the home team always has the advantage.*

*Marx claimed religion was the 'opiate of the masses', I reckon television does a better job of stupefying people.*

*I got home late last night, I didn't have time for dinner.*

Ways to fix your run-on sentences

  1. 4.2 Use a joining word

    Fixing a run-on sentence with a joining word :
    A run-on sentence can easily be fixed using a comma with a joining word (conjunction). (See Commas).

Marx claimed religion was the opiate of the masses, but I reckon television does a better job of stupefying people.