Grammar: Run-On Sentences

Learn how to avoid grammar errors with run-on sentences.

Example errors

Look at the example errors below. Can you fix them?

Incorrect
– The research project was well-funded, this made it possible to pay the participants for their time.
– These findings suggest that conscientiousness is associated with intention to quit, however, more research is needed.

What are the grammar rules?

NOTE: Run-on sentences are only an error in writing.

1.  Run-on sentences occur when two or more independent clauses – an independent clause is a group of words that expresses a complete thought – are joined with incorrect punctuation or without a coordinating conjunction such as and, but, or and so.

2.  When this error occurs, there’s typically a close link between the two independent clauses. The error can also occur when independent clauses are joined with a conjunctive adverb such as however.

3.  To fix a run-on sentence, you generally only need to:

  • use a full stop / period or semi-colon to join the independent clauses;
  • or join them using a coordinating conjunction (e.g. and, but, so).

Corrected errors

Here are the corrected errors from the start of the lesson.

Incorrect Correct
– The research project was well-funded, this made it possible to pay the participants for their time. – The research project was well-funded. This made it possible to pay the participants for their time.

OR

– The research project was well-funded and this made it possible to pay the participants for their time
Incorrect Correct
– These findings suggest that conscientiousness is associated with intention to quit, however, more research is needed. – These findings suggest that conscientiousness is associated with intention to quit. However, more research is needed.

OR

– These findings suggest that conscientiousness is associated with intention to quit; however, more research is needed.