Monday, August 20, 2007

Grammar: Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them (Part 18 - Run-on, Fused Sentence)

Run-on sentences are sentences that run on forever, they are sentences that ought to have been two or even three sentences but the writer didn't stop to sort them out, leaving the reader feeling exhausted by the sentence's end which is too long in coming. (Like that one!)

Break the sentences up! This would be grammatically fine if we broke this up:
Run-on: I’m going home, I’m done for today, I need a bubble bath.


Right way: I’m going home. I’m done for today, and I need a bubble bath.


Fused sentences occur when two independent clauses are put together without a comma, semi-colon, or conjunction. For example: "The pretrial conference resulted in a settlement but the defendant was unhappy with the terms." This one is easy. Just put a comma between "settlement" and "but":

The pretrial conference resulted in a settlement, but the defendant was unhappy with the terms.


The end result is a happy, relaxed sentence.

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