How to Fix and Avoid Run-on Sentences?

Writers use a variety of tactics to engage their audience. Among those strategies, one of the most popular ones is the combination of two or more separate clauses or complete sentences. This technique assists the writers in improving the clarity, diversity, and flow of their text.

However, much like the real world, there is a certain way of implementing every rule in writing. The same goes for two or more phrases or independent clauses. However, people generally do not know the rules for merging phrases. As a result, they fall victim to the issue of run-on sentences. That’s where this blog post will help you out.

This blog post will teach you how to properly prevent and correct run-on sentences. But first, let’s get started by sharing the concept of run-on phrases. So, without any further delay, let’s begin.

The Concept of Run-on Sentences

A run-on sentence is a grammatical or writing error that refers to the incorrect joining of two or more independent clauses. This problem occurs when people use improper punctuation or do not utilize conjunctions while joining two or more (complete) clauses. Here are a few sample phrases containing the run-on sentence problem:

  • Ethan studied many hours for his exam he believed he would do well.
  • The sky is cloudy it will rain tomorrow. 
  • Simon is exhausted he can’t study anymore.
  • I have to rewrite my paper it has run-ons in it.
  • Let’s go to the cinema I want to see the new Marvel movie.

Best Ways to Fix and Avoid Run-on Sentences

By now, you may have gained clarity about what run-on sentences are. So, it’s time to discuss the elephant in the room—fixing and avoiding run-on phrases. Here are some techniques that you can employ to rectify and eliminate the risk of run-on sentences from your content: 

Break Down the Run-on Sentence into Individual Phrases

The most straightforward way of rectifying and avoiding the issue of run-on clauses is to break down the phrases into individual sentences. To do that, you can use a period. So, here are a few examples indicating the division of run-on sentences into individual phrases:

Incorrect: Ethan studied many hours for his exam he believed he would do well.

Correct: Ethan studied many hours for his exam. He believed he would do well.

However, while separating multiple clauses, capitalize the first letter. Otherwise, you’ll fall prey to another grammatical issue.

Use the Semicolon and Comma Signs Appropriately

Commas and semicolons are two of the most overlooked and underestimated punctuation marks. But these two signs can prove to be a secret weapon against the run-on sentences. So, if you don’t want to divide the independent clauses, you can use either a semicolon or a comma. Here are two example phrases that demonstrate the proper use of a comma and semicolon to avoid run-on clauses:

Incorrect: The sky is cloudy it will rain tomorrow.

Correct: The sky is cloudy, but it will rain tomorrow.

Incorrect: Simon is exhausted he can’t study anymore.

Correct: Simon is exhausted; he can’t study anymore.

However, make sure you understand when to use each punctuation mark appropriately. Otherwise, you won’t be able to maintain coherence and prevent run-ons.

Leverage Both Coordinate and Subordinate Conjunctions

Conjunction is another effective technique of using multiple independent clauses in a single sentence. So, if the above two strategies do not fit your use case, you can try either the coordinate (‘and,’ ‘but,’ ‘for,’ ‘nor,’ ‘or,’ ‘so’ and ‘yet’) or subordinate (‘although,’ ‘because,’ ‘if,’ and ‘while’) conjunction. These words create a bridge between independent clauses and allow a seamless transition while maintaining a sense of unity.

Here are two sample sentences that showcase how to correctly employ a coordinate and subordinate conjunction to avoid run-on clauses:

Incorrect: This is a great trip we should get matching tattoos.

Correct: This is an important vacation, so we should get matching tattoos.

Incorrect: Let’s go to the cinema I want to see the new Marvel movie.

Correct: Let’s go to the cinema because I want to see the new Marvel movie.

Despite understanding all these rules, sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether to use a comma, semicolon, subordinate conjunction, or coordinate conjunction. So, to deal with such complicated situations, we recommend using our sentence checker. Our developers have leveraged sophisticated AI technologies in the creation of this tool. So, this online utility can understand your text like humans and work more accurately. Therefore, we recommend proofreading your content with this tool before submission.

Summing Up — Key Takeaways

In conclusion, the problem of run-on sentences occurs when people forget to use conjunctions or use wrong punctuation signs. This issue mostly happens when people don’t possess the appropriate knowledge. But you can easily avoid it by dividing sentences either through punctuation marks or correct conjunction. If you want more details about it, read the above blog post.