English grammar

Module 10, Clauses, Lesson 11:

Run-On Sentences and Fragments

Score:
English grammar
Definition:
A run-on sentence (or fused sentence) has two or more clauses that are not correctly connected.

Run-on sentences can be corrected by separating them into two sentences, by making a compound sentence, or by making a complex sentence.

Run-on:
Sam is my friend and Melanie is my friend.
Sam is my friend. + Melanie is my friend.

Two separate sentences:
Fixed: Sam is my friend. Melanie is my friend.

Compound sentence:
(Remember: Independent clauses need glue to hold them together. The glue can be a comma and a coordinating conjunction, a semicolon, or a conjunctive adverb with a semicolon before it and a comma after it.)

Fixed: Sam is my friend, and Melanie is my friend.
Fixed: Sam is my friend; Melanie is my friend.
Fixed: Sam is my friend; also, Melanie is my friend.

They can also be corrected by making one clause dependent:
Fixed: Although Sam is my friend, Melanie is also my friend.

Frequently, a run-on sentence simply needs to be punctuated correctly. Fix run-on sentences in a few ways: add a comma before a coordinating conjunction or after an introductory clause, and use a semicolon or period between two independent clauses.

Run-on: Before we left for vacation we took our dog to the kennel.
Fixed: Before we left for vacation, we took our dog to the kennel.

Run-on: Hannah went to the mall with her friends then she went home then she watched television until her parents came home.
Fixed: Hannah went to the mall with her friends. Then she went home, and then she watched television until her parents came home.
Fixed: Hannah went to the mall with her friends. Then she went home. Then she watched television until her parents came home.

Definition:
A comma splice is a type of run-on sentence in which two independent clauses are connected by only a comma. A correctly written compound sentence must either have a comma and a conjunction or a semicolon.
Comma splice: I was going to pick up some donuts, I was running late.
Fixed: I was going to pick up some donuts; I was running late.
Fixed: I was going to pick up some donuts, but I was running late.
Definition:
A sentence fragment is an incomplete thought. It may be a phrase or a dependent clause without an independent clause.

One of the most common fragments students write is a result of answering a question using just the dependent clause.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
Fragment: Because it wanted to get to the other side.
Fixed: The chicken crossed the road because it wanted to get to the other side.
Fixed: Because it wanted to get to the other side, the chicken crossed the road.

Sometimes students begin a compound-complex sentence and forget to end it.

Fragment: When you finally get here, after you fly into Orlando and then drive all the way from the airport.
Fixed: When you finally get here, after you fly into Orlando and then drive all the way from the airport, we will celebrate.

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar
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Directions:
Decide if each sentence is a sentence, a fragment, or a run-on.
1.
After we learned how to code in school, we taught ourselves how to write cell phone apps.
sentence / fragment / run-on
2.
On the quiet, secluded beach where we could see the dolphins playing in the waves.
sentence / fragment / run-on
3.
Before we go to the movies tonight, I want to take a nap.
sentence / fragment / run-on
4.
The wind is blowing the branches into the roads and it's raining really hard.
sentence / fragment / run-on
5.
The quarterback threw the ball then the receiver missed it and everyone ended up in a big pile of players.
sentence / fragment / run-on
6.
Our school created a drive-in theater in the parking lot and showed old black and white movies.
sentence / fragment / run-on
7.
Because when we will get there so late.
sentence / fragment / run-on
8.
The countryside is divided into horse pastures by pretty white fences.
sentence / fragment / run-on
9.
With its tall skyscrapers and busy streets.
sentence / fragment / run-on
10.
When I was a child computers took up a whole room, now they fit in my pocket.
sentence / fragment / run-on
Score: