Grammar: 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 is 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.

IncorrectCorrect
– 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
IncorrectCorrect
– 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.

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