RUN-TOGETHER SENTENCES


Sometimes two sentences are accidentally run together because the writer fails to insert a period at the end of the first complete thought, or because the writer inserts a comma instead of a period at the end of the first complete thought.

For example:

     1. Estelle likes gooseberries she even eats them at basketball games. (period was forgotten)

     2. Estelle likes gooseberries, she even eats them at basketball games. (comma was used in place of a period)

Since there are two independent thoughts expressed in these run-together sentences, the thoughts must be separated, or they must be joined together in some way that makes their relationship to each other more clear.

     3. Estelle likes gooseberries. She even eats them at basketball games. (correct use of period)

     4. Estelle likes gooseberries so much that she even eats them at basketball games. (addition of words to clarify the relationship of the two thoughts and allow them to work together)

Another example:

Ralph won't take Estelle to basketball games, she eats gooseberries and gets juice all over herself. (comma used in place of period)

Again, we have two complete thoughts run together. They need to be separated completely by a period, or the sentence needs to be reworded so the thoughts fit together in a more logical fashion.

     1. Ralph won't take Estelle to basketball games. She eats gooseberries and gets juice all over herself. (correct use of period)

     2. Ralph won't take Estelle to basketball games because she eats gooseberries and gets juice all over herself. (addition of word that clarifies the relationship of the thoughts)

There are many ways to correct run-together sentences. If you suspect that you have run-togethers in your work, try separating the thoughts with periods, or try rewording the sentences until they sound correct. Reading them loud will help.


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