Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

What Is a Run-on Sentence? (with Examples)

What Is a Run-on Sentence? (with Examples)

A run-on sentence is a common error caused by merging two sentences (i.e., independent clauses) without suitable punctuation. When a comma is used incorrectly between the two sentences, the error is known as a comma fault or a comma splice.

Examples of Run-on Sentences

Here are some examples of run-on sentences:

  • It is raining heavily the game is cancelled.
  • (This is a run-on sentence. It is made up of two standalone sentences. They cannot run from one to the other without punctuation.)
  • You can collect as many signatures as you like, the reservoir is still going to be built.
  • (This is a run-on sentence. It is made up of two standalone sentences. You cannot join them with a comma.)

  • Lee had all the best tackle, however, he failed to catch a single fish.
  • (The word however is a major cause of run-on sentences. When used as a bridge to the previous clause, the word however should start a new sentence or be preceded by a semicolon — definitely not a comma.)

    Fixing Run-on Sentences

    There are several ways to fix a run-on sentence. Look at this example:

    It is raining heavily the game is cancelled.

    Use separate sentences:
    • It is raining heavily. The game is cancelled.
    Use a semicolon:
    • It is raining heavily; the game is cancelled.
    Use a coordinating conjunction with a comma:
    • It is raining heavily, and the game is cancelled.
    Use a subordinating conjunction:
    • As it is raining heavily, the game is cancelled.
    Interactive Test
     
     
    Top Tip

    Write One Sentence at a Time

    A sentence is a group of grammatically complete words that expresses a complete thought. A sentence must contain a subject and a verb (even if one or the other is implied).

    Often the idea you want to convey will be made up of more than one sentence. Regardless of how closely linked those sentences are, you must choose appropriate punctuation between them.
    • I love angel cake, it is my favourite.
    Remember, a comma does not mean "I haven't quite finished what I saying yet."