Run-On Sentences — A Definition
There are two types of Run-On Sentences: Fused and Comma Splices.
1. Fused Sentences — When there is no punctuation at all separating two complete statements. The two sentences are “Fused” or stuck together into one sentences.
Example: My alarm clock rang like a fire bell I slowly rolled out of bed.
How do you avoid these? Read your work aloud to yourself. Look for the main subject and main verb and try to separate one complete thought from another using the two forms of Coordination discussed in Chapter 15 of Along These Lines.
2. Comma Splices — When a comma alone divides two complete thoughts. (Commas don’t match the weight of periods when punctuating complete thoughts).
Example: One student made a lasting impression at his interview, he arrived an hour late.
How do we fix Fused Sentences and Comma Splices?
A. Divide the comma splice into two sentences, each with its own period as end punctuation.
B. Connect the two complete thoughts by placing a joining word (such as and, but, or so) after the comma.
C. Use subordination (add a dependent word to one of the complete thoughts). Dependent words are those like although, because, when, where.