Common Sentence Error

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  • Topic: Punctuation, Dependent clause, Sentence
  • Pages : 3 (525 words )
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  • Published : November 9, 2012
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Common Sentence-level Errors

The Run-On, The Comma Splice, The Fragment

RUN-ON

A run-on or fused sentence is two independent clauses that are not separated by any punctuation.

Run-on:   Wearing a seatbelt is not just a good idea it's the law. Revision:  Wearing a seatbelt is not just a good idea; it's the law.

Even if one or both of the fused sentences contain internal punctuation, the sentence is still a run-on.

COMMA SPLICE

A comma splice is the unjustifiable use of only a comma to combine two separate sentences. (One should use either a period, a semicolon, or a coordinating conjunction and a comma to separate the two statements.)

Comma splice:  Wearing a seatbelt is not just a good idea, it's the law. Revision:          Wearing a seatbelt is not just a good idea; it's the law.

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Both run-on sentences and comma splices may be corrected in any of the following ways:

Run-on:            Tevon won the award he had the highest score. Comma splice:  Tevon won the award, he had the highest score. 1. Separate the sentences with a period.
o Tevon won the award. He had the highest score.
2. Separate the sentences with a comma and a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so). o Tevon won the award, for he had the highest score. 3. Separate the sentences with a semicolon.

o Tevon won the award; he had the highest score.
If a conjunctive adverb like therefore, however, then, or consequently separates the two sentences, use a semicolon also.

o I was unwilling to testify; however, I did it anyway. 4. Separate the sentences with a subordinating conjunction such as although, because, since, or if. o Tevon won the award because he had the highest score.

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SENTENCE FRAGMENT

A fragment is an incomplete construction which may or may not have a subject and a...
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