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Answered By: Cassie Sampson, Education & General Education Librarian
Last Updated: May 10, 2016     Views: 88

A run-on sentence is when two or more simple sentences run together without correct punctuation.

A certain type of run-on sentence is called a comma splice.  A comma splice occurs when a comma is used alone between two sentences.  

A comma is strong enough to hold two small things together, such as phrases, but it must be paired with a conjunction in order to hold to sentences together.

Example: Joe plays varsity football, he is the team's starting quarterback.  A comma is not strong enough to hold these two sentences together; a different type of punctuation is needed. 

This comma splice is easy to repair. Just do one of the following:

  1. Break it into two sentences: Joe plays varsity football. He is the team's starting quarterback.
  2. Separate the sentences with a semicolon: Joe plays varsity football; he is the team's starting quarterback.
  3. Use a connecting word (and, or, yet, so, for, nor, but) to form a compound sentence: Joe plays varsity football, and he is the team's starting quarterback.

For the complete article on correct sentence structure, click here

You may also find this answer about proper comma usage helpful.  Another helpful answer is about fixing run-on sentences.