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Fused/Run-on Sentences and Comma Splice Guidelines

Fused (Run-On) Sentence-Comma Splice Guidelines fusedcs3ho0894
A fused (run-on) sentence error occurs when sentences or independent clauses are improperly
connected.
Examples of Run-On (Fused) Sentence Errors:
The clouds were dark we thought it would rain.
I bought a coat however it did not fit.

A comma splice error occurs when sentences or independent clauses are improperly connected by a comma alone.
Examples of Comma Splice Errors:
The clouds were dark, we thought it would rain.
I bought a coat, however, it did not fit.


Correcting Fused Sentences and Comma Splices
Correct fused (run-on) sentence and comma splice errors in any one of the following ways. Be sure to choose the method most appropriate for the meaning of the ideas being expressd.

1. If the clauses are not closely related, separate them and punctuate as two separate sentences.
The clouds were dark. We thought it would rain.
I bought a coat. However, it did not fit.

2. If the clauses are closely related, use a comma plus a coordinating conjunction to connect them.
The clouds were dark, so we thought it would rain.
I bought a coat, but it did not fit.

3. If the clauses are closely related, use a semicolon to connect them. You may wish to add a conjunctive adverb or transition to help explain the connection between the two clauses.
The clouds were dark; we thought it would rain.
The clouds were dark; therefore, we thought it would rain.
I bought a coat; however, it did not fit.
I bought a coat; it did not fit, however.

4. If one of the clauses provides background information or secondary information, you may wish to convert that clause to a dependent clause by using a subordinator. The resulting sentence will contain a dependent clause and an independent clause.
Because the clouds were dark, we thought it would rain.
We thought it would rain when the clouds were dark.
I bought a coat which did not fit.
The coat that I bought did not fit.

Comments: writcent@tcc.edu
Last updated on August 4, 2003
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