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Osceola Writing Center

Run-on / Fused Sentences

These kind of errors tend to be less common than our comma splice errors, but they can still be an issue. Take a look at the information below so that you will be able to recognize and fix run-ons.

Run-on Sentences


What is it?

A run-on sentence, also called a "fused sentence," is when 2 sentences are joined together without any punctuation.


Researchers suggest that the best way to learn a language is by being immersed however, it is also important to study daily.

In the above example, the sentences have no punctuation connecting them, so one "runs-on" into the next.

How to Fix

Fixing a run-on/fused sentence is just like fixing a comma splice. However, instead of having a comma where the 2 sentences connect, you have nothing. Consequently, it may take a little more time to locate where one sentence ends and the other begins. Here are a couple suggestions for finding the spot where you need to put your punctuation:

  • Read the sentence out loud and see if there's a place where you pause; we often place a pause at the end of a sentence.
  • Try reading the sentence out loud without providing any pauses- if you find a place where you feel like you're rushing from one complete thought into another, that may be where you need your punctuation.
  • You can also search for the 2 main subjects and their corresponding verbs and then find the appropriate place for your punctuation so that you have 1 main subject and main verb in each sentence.

Once you have found the place where you need punctuation, choose between one of the punctuation options below:

  • a period
  • a semicolon (if the 2 clauses are closely related in content)
  • a comma with one of the "fanboys" (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)

You may be able to choose from several, or even all three, of the options above to use to fix the run-on (while there may be some cases where one is preferred over another, you will almost always have more than one option that will work).


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