Posted by: episystechpubs | February 20, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Run on with your run-ons

Today I’m going to dazzle you with a little bit about what run-on sentences are and some easy ways to fix them. I know, just what you were waiting for!

Some people think that run-on sentences are really long sentences that just go on and on until you ask yourself, “Who does this William Faulkner think he is?” Actually, run-on sentences are a very specific type of grammar problem where you have two or more main clauses that are not separated by a period or semicolon, or two clauses that are joined together by a conjunction.

For example:

I love dogs I would have an entire farm of them if I could.

As you can see, this example has two separate clauses “I love dogs” and “I would have an entire farm of them if I could.” Let’s look at four easy ways to fix this run-on catastrophe.

Fixing Run-on Sentences

  1. The easiest way to fix this is to use a period to separate the clauses.

    I love dogs. I would have an entire farm of them if I could.

  2. The second easiest way to fix this run-on sentence is to use a semicolon to link the two separate, but related, ideas.

    I love dogs; I would have an entire farm of them if I could.

  3. Not a dog person? Okay, fine. Let’s switch over to cats. In this case, we will take our run-on sentence and use a comma and a conjunction to separate the clauses.
    Instead of this: Cats are wonderful cats are always ready to cuddle.

    Try this: Cats are wonderful, and they are always ready to cuddle.

  4. The last solution is to change one of the independent clauses into a dependent clause and use the proper punctuation.

    Because cats are wonderful, they are always ready to cuddle.

I hope this makes fixing run-on sentences a little easier. Now, my next lesson is to teach you how to bandage yourself after trying to cuddle a cat that doesn’t want it!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services


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