What Are Run-On Sentences?

They don't have to be long.


Mignon Fogarty,
August 26, 2010
Episode #237

run-on sentence dogToday we turn to run-on sentences.

I bet a lot of you think that run-on sentences are just really long sentences that go on and on like the Energizer bunny. But actually, run-on sentences are sentences that lack punctuation; they can be long, but they can also be short.

What Is a Run-On Sentence?

Here's an example of a short run-on sentence: I'm a woman I am a truck driver. (I was in a writing group a few years ago with an interesting woman who was writing a book about her experience as a female truck driver.) The reason I am a woman I am a truck driver is a run-on sentence is that it's written without any internal punctuation. I've fused together two complete sentences, which is why run-on sentences are also called fused sentences.

There are a bunch of ways to fix run-on sentences; the toolbox is filled with the same basic fixes* that you can use to repair comma splices: periods, semicolons, and commas with coordinating conjunctions.

Next: How to Fix Run-On Sentences


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