Run-on Sentences: Quick Summary
A run-on sentence contains multiple independent clauses without proper punctuation or conjunctions to connect them. For example:
- I am a woman I play rugby.
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The Issue With Run-on Sentences
There are letters and there are words and if you put certain words next to each other you can form sentences which are groups of words that contain a subject and a predicate and form a complete thought that expresses a statement exclamation command or asks a question.
Was that sentence hard to follow? Did you have to take a breath just to get through it?
You probably did, and that’s because that was a run-on sentence.
Writers sometimes don’t notice these types of sentences in their text. They can be easy to miss, especially if you aren’t fully aware of what they are and how they can weaken your writing.
This blog post will help you gain an understanding of run-on sentences and how to fix them. We’ll even teach you how to use a run-on sentence checker to ensure the fluidity of your writing.
Let’s get started!
What Are “Run-on Sentences”?
A run-on sentence is a sentence that contains two or more independent clauses, but doesn’t have any punctuation or conjunctions to connect them. Remember, independent clauses are groups of words capable of standing alone and forming a complete thought.
I have a yellow cockatiel that has orange cheeks his name is Tiki and I’ve had him for seven years.
Let’s analyze this example to examine why it’s a run-on sentence.
There are three independent clauses:
- I have a yellow cockatiel that has orange cheeks
- his name is Tiki
- [and] I’ve had him for seven years
These clauses make sense on their own.
Please note that sentences can contain multiple independent clauses without necessarily being run-on sentences. The defining factor of a run-on sentence is the lack of punctuation and conjunctions that properly link the clauses.
Here’s a correct version of the run-on sentence:
I have a yellow cockatiel that has orange cheeks. His name is Tiki, and I’ve had him for seven years.
It’s a common misconception that run-on sentences are long, but this isn’t always the case. They can be short, too.
I’m 24 years old I was born in Nigeria.
My grandmother is visiting from Rome she’ll arrive tomorrow.
I’ve read many books my favorite is The Little Prince.
Examples of “Run-on Sentences”
Before we get into how to fix them, here are a few more examples of run-on sentences.
The party was fun everyone danced and had a good time the music was so loud that you could feel the bass vibrating through the floor.
My mom cooked dinner She made a delicious pasta dish with a creamy vodka sauce and garlic bread.
We went to the beach the sun was shining brightly the water was cool and refreshing we spent the whole day there having fun and building sandcastles.
When my brother came into town we visited the museum the art was magnificent he’s an art aficionado so he had a great time.
I told myself not to buy any books I went into the bookstore either way just as I had thought I couldn’t control myself and ended up buying five new books.
These sentences are convoluted, making them hard to follow. Any text containing such sentences is likely to confuse the reader. If you’re guilty of writing like this, don’t panic! Below, we’ll show you several ways to fix run-on sentences.
How To Fix “Run-on Sentences”
There are a few ways to fix a run-on sentence. We’ll walk through each in this section.
The first thing you have to do is identify the independent clauses.
We went to a full-moon party at the beach there was a bonfire and lots of music.
The two independent clauses are:
- We went to a full-moon party at the beach
- There was a bonfire and lots of music
Now, fixing the run-on sentence depends on how you want to convey the closeness between both clauses. You can either:
1. Use a period.
A period completely separates both clauses.
We went to a full-moon party at the beach. There was a bonfire and lots of music.
2. Use a semicolon.
A semicolon properly separates the clauses but expresses a close connection between them.
We went to a full-moon party at the beach; there was a bonfire and lots of music.
3. Use a coordinating conjunction with a comma.
A coordinating conjunction and a comma can also be used to express the relationship between the clauses.
We went to a full-moon party at the beach, and there was a bonfire and lots of music.
Each coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet) can portray a slightly different relationship between the clauses.
We went to a full-moon party at the beach, but there was a bonfire and lots of music.
We went to a full-moon party at the beach, so there was a bonfire and lots of music.
We went to a full-moon party at the beach, yet there was a bonfire and lots of music.
4. Use a conjunctive adverb with a semicolon and a comma.
A conjunctive adverb is an adverb that connects two independent clauses. They also help show the connections between clauses, dependent on their associations in aspects like time, cause and effect, contrast, and various other forms of relationships. Be careful not to use a comma to separate independent clauses, as this would result in a comma splice.
We went to a full-moon party at the beach; consequently, there was a bonfire and lots of music.
In short, fixing a run-on sentence depends on how you want to connect the clauses.
But you should know there’s an even easier way to fix run-on sentences. We’ll let you in on the secret in the upcoming section.
Where To Find a Run-on Sentence Checker
You can fix run-on sentences in any of the following ways mentioned above. But if you want something that requires even less effort, you should use LanguageTool as your run-on sentence checker.
As a multilingual writing assistant, LanguageTool can fix run-on sentences in multiple ways.
It detects missing punctuation.
It can detect excessively lengthy sentences and automatically split them for you.
Run Away from Run-on Sentences
The only time run-on sentences are acceptable is in creative projects where they are deliberately used for an intended effect. In every other case, it would be wise to run away from them if you want to keep your writing crisp and coherent.