LEOLEO: Literacy Education Online

Comma Splices, Fused Sentences,
and Run-ons


Comma splices, fused sentences, and run-ons are three types of mechanical errors created by incorrectly joining independent clauses. (An independent clause is a group of words which contains a subject and verb, expresses a complete thought, and can be a sentence.)

Comma splice

A comma splice is an error caused by joining two independent clauses with only a comma. Oftentimes, the subject of the second sentence is this, that, these, or those.

Incorrect

Corrected



Fused sentence

A fused sentence is an error caused by running two independent clauses together with no separation at all.

Incorrect

Corrected



Run-on

A run-on sentence is an error caused by joining two or more independent clauses with only a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet).

Incorrect

Corrected



Strategies for Correcting These Errors

You can correct comma splices, fused sentences, and run-ons in several ways.

  1. You can separate the clauses with a period.


  2. You can join the clauses with a semicolon.


  3. You can connect the clauses with a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb followed by a comma.


  4. You can connect the clauses with a comma and a coordinating conjunction.


  5. You can use a subordinator to make one clause dependent upon another.



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This webpage was written by Sharon Cogdill and Judith Kilborn for the Write Place, St. Cloud State University and may be copied for educational purposes only. If you copy this document, please include our copyright notice and the name of the writer; if you revise it, please add your name to the list of writers.

Last update: 11 November 2004

URL: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/punct/csfsro.html