Correcting Run-on Sentences What is a run-on sentence?



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  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
    • Separate sentences
    • Compound sentence
    • Complex sentence
  • Review A
  • Review B
  • Correcting Run-on Sentences
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • Sometimes, when little kids tell a story, all their sentences run together—into one long “sentence.”
  • Sometimes, in writing, students do something similar.
  • And Daddy I saw an
  • elephant Daddy it was real big it spit some water and we got some popcorn too I got to ride on the merry-go-round and . . .
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • If your essay comes back from your teacher with this comment:
  • Work on eliminating run-on sentences.
  • What should you do to revise the essay?
  • Where should you start?
  • A run-on sentence is two or more complete sentences run together into one.
  • Lightning flashes in our eyes thunder sounds in our ears.
  • Examples
  • Run-on sentences can be confusing because they do not show where one idea ends and another one begins.
  • We cannot hear and see both at the same time, we sense these events separately.
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • A complete sentence is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.
  • Subject
  • The balloon rose slowly at first.
  • Soon others joined it in the sky.
  • Verb
  • Subject
  • Verb
  • The balloon rose slowly at first.
  • The balloon rose slowly at first.
  • Soon others joined it in the sky.
  • Soon others joined it in the sky.
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • We cannot hear and see both at the same time, we sense these events separately.
  • Lightning flashes in our eyes thunder sounds in our ears.
  • Where are the complete sentences in the examples below?
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • Grammar Gal Says...
  • What is a run-on sentence
  • We cannot hear and see both at the same time, we sense the event twice in different ways.
  • To figure out where one sentence ends and another begins, look for changes in the topic or idea.
  • The first sentence is about not being able to hear the thunder at the same time we see the lightning.
  • We cannot hear and see both at the same time, we sense these events separately.
  • The second sentence is about experiencing one event as if it were two different events because we need to use different senses.
  • Lightning flashes in our eyes thunder sounds in our ears.
  • This run-on sentence is an example of a fused sentence. There is no punctuation between the two sentences.
  • Sentence 1
  • Sentence 2
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • We cannot hear and see both at the same time, we sense these events separately.
  • This run-on sentence is an example of a comma splice. There is only a comma between the two sentences.
  • Sentence 1
  • Sentence 2
  • ,
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • 1. Sculptors in Benin create detailed statues, they use the lost-wax process of casting.
  • 2. The sculptor forms a figure from soil and water, after it has dried, the sculptor coats it with beeswax.
  • 3. The sculptor heats bronze until it liquefies then the sculptor pours molten bronze into the mold.
  • Identify the complete sentences in the run-ons below.
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • 1. Sculptors in Benin create detailed statues, they use the lost-wax process of casting.
  • Sculptors in Benin create detailed statues.
  • They use the lost-wax process of casting.
  • Identify the complete sentences in the run-ons below.
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • 2. The sculptor forms a figure from soil and water, after it has dried, the sculptor coats it with beeswax.
  • Identify the complete sentences in the run-ons below.
  • The sculptor forms a figure from soil and water.
  • After it has dried, the sculptor coats it with beeswax.
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • 3. The sculptor heats bronze until it liquefies then the sculptor pours molten bronze into the mold.
  • Identify the complete sentences in the run-ons below.
  • The sculptor heats bronze until it liquefies.
  • Then the sculptor pours molten bronze into the mold.
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • [End of Section]
  • Identify the following items as correct sentences (C) or run-ons (R). Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • ___ 1. Exercise can increase the efficiency of your muscles, as well as your muscles’ strength and size.
  • ___ 2. Aerobic exercise helps your heart pump more efficiently, then the number of blood vessels in your muscles increases.
  • ___ 3. ATP is a complex molecule scientists consider it the cell’s fuel.
  • On Your Own
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • Identify the following items as correct sentences (C) or run-ons (R). Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • ___ 1. Exercise can increase the efficiency of your muscles, as well as your muscles’ strength and size.
  • ___ 2. Aerobic exercise helps your heart pump more efficiently, then the number of blood vessels in your muscles increases.
  • ___ 3. ATP is a complex molecule scientists consider it the cell’s fuel.
  • C
  • Answers
  • R
  • R
  • What is a run-on sentence?
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • To fix a run-on sentence, you need to do one of two things:
  • OR
  • Cut it apart.
  • Join it properly.
  • How you revise a run-on sentence depends upon the relationship you want to show between the ideas.
  • If
  • then
  • and
  • ideas are NOT closely related
  • make two sentences
  • ideas ARE equally important
  • ideas ARE closely related
  • make a compound sentence
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • How you revise a run-on sentence depends upon the relationship you want to show between the ideas.
  • If
  • then
  • but
  • the ideas are NOT equally important
  • ideas ARE closely related
  • make a complex sentence
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • [End of Section]
    • separate sentences flow better in the paragraph in which they appear
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Separate sentences
  • Strategy 1: Make two sentences
  • Break a run-on into two separate sentences when
  • Ernest Hemingway based many of his stories on his experiences during World War I, before the United States entered the war, Hemingway worked as an ambulance driver for the Italian army.
  • Ernest Hemingway based many of his stories on his experiences during World War I. Before the United States entered the war, Hemingway worked as an ambulance driver for the Italian army.
    • the ideas are not closely related or
    • at least one sentence is long or complex or
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Separate sentences
  • Strategy 1: Make two sentences
  • To make two separate sentences
  • Next door to the school, a new building was under construction, trucks and construction materials covered much of the parking lot.
    • Put an end mark after the first complete sentence.
    • Then, capitalize the first word of the next complete sentence.
  • Next door to the school, a new building was under construction. Trucks and construction materials covered much of the parking lot.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each into two separate sentences.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Separate sentences
  • Naomi worked hard she was persistent.
  • She tried different exercises her skills showed great improvement.
  • 3. Naomi wanted to make the basketball team she practiced every afternoon.
  • 4. Her practice paid off she made the team.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Separate sentences
  • 1. Naomi worked hard. She was persistent.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each into two separate sentences.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Separate sentences
  • 2. She tried different exercises. Her skills showed great improvement.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each into two separate sentences.
  • 3. Naomi wanted to make the basketball team. She practiced every afternoon.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each into two separate sentences.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Separate sentences
  • 4. Her practice paid off. She made the team.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each into two separate sentences.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Separate sentences
  • [End of Section]
  • Revise the following sentences by making each into two separate sentences. Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • 1. The weather was terrible yesterday we had to cancel band practice.
  • 2. Next summer I will travel to Argentina on a study program the program requires students to stay with a local family.
  • 3. Domestic canaries are usually yellow, if red peppers are part of their diet, canaries may be bright orange.
  • On Your Own
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Separate sentences
  • Revise the following sentences by making each into two separate sentences. Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • 1. The weather was terrible yesterday. We had to cancel band practice.
  • 2. Next summer I will travel to Argentina on a study program. The program requires students to stay with a local family.
  • 3. Domestic canaries are usually yellow. If red peppers are part of their diet, canaries may be bright orange.
  • Answers
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Separate sentences
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Strategy 2: Make a compound sentence
  • When the complete thoughts in a run-on sentence are closely related and are of equal importance, you may want to make a compound sentence.
  • There are three common ways to make a compound sentence.
  • A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses and no subordinate clauses.
  • We could drive to San Antonio on the freeway,
  • Independent Clause
  • or we could take the back roads.
  • Independent Clause
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • An independent clause has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.
  • An independent clause (or main clause) expresses a complete thought and can stand by itself as a sentence.
  • Subject
  • We could drive to San Antonio on the freeway,
  • or we could take the back roads.
  • Verb
  • Subject
  • Verb
  • We could drive to San Antonio on the freeway,
  • We could drive to San Antonio on the freeway,
  • or we could take the back roads
  • or we could take the back roads.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • A subordinate clause (or dependent clause) does not express a complete thought and cannot stand by itself as a sentence.
  • Subject
  • Verb
  • Subject
  • Verb
  • while they were studying in the library
  • while they were studying in the library
  • which grows in tropical climates
  • which grows in tropical climates
  • A subordinate clause has a subject and a verb but does not express a complete thought.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Grammar Gal Says...
  • The ideas in a compound sentence must be BOTH closely related AND of equal importance.
  • If the ideas in a run-on sentence don’t meet both of these conditions, you need to find another way to revise the run-on sentence.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • They made the dangerous journey after dark, wolves lurked in the forests along the trail.
  • Run-on
  • They made the dangerous journey after dark. Wolves lurked in the forests along the trail.
  • Revised
  • These two ideas are not closely related. Two separate sentences would work well in this case.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Grammar Gal Says...
  • You can make a run-on sentence into compound sentence by using a comma and a coordinating conjunction.
  • Jaya ran to catch the train she missed it by two minutes.
  • Jaya ran to catch the train, but she missed it by two minutes.
  • Strategy 2: Make a compound sentence
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So
  • A coordinating conjunction joins words or groups of words that are used in the same way. The mnemonic FANBOYS can help you remember the coordinating conjunctions.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Grammar Gal Says...
  • You can make a run-on sentence into a compound sentence by using a semicolon.
  • Strategy 2: Make a compound sentence
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Jaya ran to catch the train she missed it by two minutes.
  • Jaya ran to catch the train; she missed it by two minutes.
  • You can make a run-on sentence into a compound sentence by using a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb followed by a comma.
  • Strategy 2: Make a compound sentence
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Jaya ran to catch the train she missed it by two minutes.
  • Jaya ran to catch the train; however, she missed it by two minutes.
  • Conjunctive adverbs express specific relationships between ideas. Be sure to choose the conjunctive adverb that most clearly expresses what you want to say.
  • Common Conjunctive Adverbs
  • also
  • incidentally
  • next
  • anyway
  • indeed
  • nonetheless
  • besides
  • instead
  • otherwise
  • consequently
  • likewise
  • still
  • finally
  • meanwhile
  • then
  • furthermore
  • moreover
  • therefore
  • however
  • nevertheless
  • thus
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each one into a compound sentence.
  • 1. The tire was flat I got the spare tire and the jack out of the trunk.
  • 2. The surface of the planet Mars can be seen through a telescope it appears reddish in color.
  • 3. Despite my good intentions, I started my homework late I still had enough time to study for the test.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • 4. Derek went to the library to do research he forgot to check out the book he needed.
  • 1. The tire was flat, so I got the spare tire and the jack out of the trunk.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each one into a compound sentence.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • 2. The surface of the planet Mars can be seen through a telescope; it appears reddish in color.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each one into a compound sentence.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each one into a compound sentence.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • 3. Despite my good intentions, I started my homework late; however, I still had enough time to study for the test.
  • 4. Derek went to the library to do research, but he forgot to check out the book he needed.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each one into a compound sentence.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each into a compound sentence. Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • 1. This book is taking a long time to read the characters are really interesting.
  • 2. Send me an e-mail about the club meeting I might not remember to come.
  • Karla is making a fruit salad for the party I’ll bring some raw vegetables and dip.
  • 4. Maya trained hard all summer she won her event in the cross-country meet.
  • On Your Own
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Possible Answers
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Compound sentence
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making each into a compound sentence. Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • 1. This book is taking a long time to read, but the characters are really interesting.
  • 2. Send me an e-mail about the club meeting; otherwise, I might not remember to come.
  • Karla is making a fruit salad for the party; I’ll bring some raw vegetables and dip.
  • 4. Maya trained hard all summer, and she won her event at the cross-country meet.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • Strategy 3: Make a complex sentence
  • When the complete thoughts in a run-on sentence are closely related but are not equally important, you may want to make a complex sentence.
  • A complex sentence contains one independent clause and at least one subordinate clause.
  • Please read this article, which is about butterflies.
  • Independent Clause
  • After you read the article, we will go to the lab.
  • Subordinate clause
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • Subordinate Clause
  • Independent Clause
  • An independent clause has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.
  • An independent clause (or main clause) expresses a complete thought and can stand by itself as a sentence.
  • Subject
  • We could drive to San Antonio on the freeway,
  • or we could take the back roads.
  • Verb
  • Subject
  • Verb
  • We could drive to San Antonio on the freeway,
  • We could drive to San Antonio on the freeway,
  • or we could take the back roads
  • or we could take the back roads.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • A subordinate clause (or dependent clause) does not express a complete thought and cannot stand by itself as a sentence.
  • Subject
  • while they were studying in the library
  • which grows in tropical climates
  • Verb
  • Subject
  • Verb
  • while they were studying in the library
  • while they were studying in the library
  • which grows in tropical climates
  • which grows in tropical climates
  • A subordinate clause has a subject and a verb but does not express a complete thought.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • Strategy 3: Make a complex sentence
  • Step 1: Break the run-on into two independent clauses.
  • Bats are usually harmless creatures, some people think they are dangerous.
  • Bats are usually harmless creatures.
  • Some people think they are dangerous.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • Strategy 3: Make a complex sentence
  • Step 2: Decide which idea is more important (or which idea you want to emphasize).
  • Bats are usually harmless creatures.
  • The more important idea will be the independent clause in the sentence.
  • Some people think they are dangerous.
  • the harmlessness of bats
  • some people’s fear of bats
  • If you want to focus on…
  • Use this as your independent clause.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • Strategy 3: Make a complex sentence
  • Step 3: Make the less important clause a subordinate clause.
  • Although bats are usually harmless creatures, some people think they are dangerous.
  • Subordinate Clause = LESS important idea
  • Independent Clause = MORE important idea
  • A subordinating conjunction begins this subordinate clause and connects it to the independent clause.
  • Common Subordinating Conjunctions
  • after
  • how
  • though
  • although
  • if
  • unless
  • as
  • in order that
  • until
  • as if
  • provided
  • when
  • as much as
  • since
  • whenever
  • as though
  • so that
  • where
  • because
  • than
  • wherever
  • before
  • that
  • while
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • A subordinating conjunction begins a subordinate clause and connects it to an independent clause.

Correcting a run-on sentence Complex sentence

  • Grammar Gal Says...
  • A subordinating conjunction may come between the clauses it joins or at the beginning of the sentence.
  • We celebrated after we won the election.
  • After we won the election, we celebrated.
  • When a subordinating conjunction begins a sentence, use a comma after the subordinate clause.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences using the subordinating conjunction in parentheses.
  • 2. She chopped some onion and green pepper the beans were simmering. (while)
  • 3. The beans were ready, everyone sat down at the table to eat. (when)
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • 4. Lola had worked hard her friends cleaned up the kitchen. (since)
  • Revise the following run-on sentences using the subordinating conjunction in parentheses.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • 1. After she invited her friends to dinner, Lola began preparing the meal.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences using the subordinating conjunction in parentheses.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • 2. She chopped some onion and green pepper while the beans were simmering.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences using the subordinating conjunction in parentheses.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • 3. When the beans were ready, everyone sat down at the table to eat.
  • Revise the following run-on sentences using the subordinating conjunction in parentheses.
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • 4. Her friends cleaned up the kitchen since Lola had worked hard.
  • [End of Section]
  • On Your Own
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making one of the clauses into a subordinate clause. Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • 1. The baseball game was stopped in the seventh inning heavy lightning began.
  • 2. I got up early this morning, I was still late for school.
  • The Spanish explorer Cortes landed in Mexico, he and his men marched to the Aztec capital.
  • 4. The baby stopped crying his mother fed him a bottle.
  • On Your Own
  • Possible Answers
  • Correcting a run-on sentence
  • Complex sentence
  • Revise the following run-on sentences by making one of the clauses into a subordinate clause. Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • 1. The baseball game was stopped in the seventh inning because heavy lightning began.
  • 2. Although I got up early this morning, I was still late for school.
  • 3. After the Spanish explorer Cortes landed in Mexico, he and his men marched to the Aztec capital.
  • 4. The baby stopped crying when his mother fed him a bottle.
  • Review A
  • [End of Section]
  • Identify the following items as correct sentences (C) or run-ons (R). Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • ___ 1. Elizabeth Blackwell was born in 1821, she died in 1910.
  • ___ 2. Her family was poor, she and her mother started a boarding school.
  • ___ 3. A friend encouraged her to become a doctor, at first, she rejected this suggestion.
  • ___ 4. Graduating at the head of her class in 1849, she became the first woman in the U.S. to earn an M.D.
  • ___ 5. She did graduate work in Europe she established a hospital in New York that was staffed by women.
  • Identify the following items as correct sentences (C) or run-ons (R). Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • ___ 1. Elizabeth Blackwell was born in 1821, she died in 1910.
  • ___ 2. Her family was poor, she and her mother started a boarding school.
  • ___ 3. A friend encouraged her to become a doctor, at first, she rejected this suggestion.
  • ___ 4. Graduating at the head of her class in 1849, she became the first woman in the U.S. to earn an M.D.
  • ___ 5. She did graduate work in Europe she established a hospital in New York that was staffed by women.
  • Review A
  • R
  • C
  • R
  • R
  • R
  • Review B
  • [End of Section]
  • Revise each run-on sentence by making two separate sentences, a compound sentence, or a complex sentence. Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • 1. The transcontinental railroad was being built during the 1850s, cheap labor was in great demand.
  • 2. Chinese immigrants came seeking prosperity, they found only hard work and discrimination.
  • 3. Ten thousand laborers built the Union Pacific Railroad, nine thousand of them were Chinese.
  • 4. The railroad builders favored Chinese immigration when they needed laborers that changed when the railroads were finished.
  • Revise each run-on sentence by making two separate sentences, a compound sentence, or a complex sentence. Be prepared to explain your answers.
  • 1. When the transcontinental railroad was being built during the 1850s, cheap labor was in great demand.
  • 2. Chinese immigrants came seeking prosperity, but they found only hard work and discrimination.
  • 3. Ten thousand laborers built the Union Pacific Railroad; nine thousand of them were Chinese.
  • 4. The railroad builders favored Chinese immigration when they needed laborers; however, that changed when the railroads were finished.
  • Review B
  • Possible Answers
  • The End


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