Monday, May 21, 2007

Grammar: Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them (Part 6 - Comma Splice)

A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses are joined only with a comma. For example:
My cat chased the mouse, the mouse got away.

The proper form would be:
My cat chased the mouse, and the mouse got away.

These are two clauses that could stand alone and therefore need a comma to separate them.

A comma splice also occurs when a comma is used to divide a subject from its verb. For example:
I was tired, and took a nap.

(The subject “I" is separated from one of its verbs, “took." There should be no comma in this sentence.

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