Communication Skills

JS Tip 74: From the Writing Workshops: Getting Rid of the Dreaded Run-on Sentence

Let’s define the term: a “run-on sentence” is group of words with two or more sentences written as one:

      The pumps failed the control room flooded.

(Notice we’re using the example from last week’s tip about semi-colons.)

You can get rid of the dreaded run-on sentence three ways:

One: Turn the run-on sentence into two sentences.

A period. A space. A capital letter:

      The pumps failed. The control room flooded.

Two: Separate the two sentences with a comma and a connecting word.

      The pumps failed, and the control room flooded.

      The pumps failed, so the control room flooded.

Three: Separate the two sentences with a semi-colon.

      The pumps failed; the control room flooded.

(You cannot—cannot—connect the two with just a comma. That’s called a “comma splice.” Don’t do it; the comma isn’t strong enough.)

What are your writing challenges? Let us know, and we’ll address them in a future tip. (Notice how we connected two sentences with a comma and a connecting word: “Let us know, and we’ll address them in a future tip.” Wow. This stuff works.)