Language Arts: Fragments and Run-On Sentences Tutorial
How to Correct Run-On Sentences
Let's turn these fragments into complete sentences.
Run-On sentences are two or more sentences that are written together without the correct punctuation.
Use a period and a capital letter to separate the two sentences.
This section will show how to identify fragments and run-on sentences and how to avoid them when writing.
Fragments are incomplete sentences.
Reads. (does not tell who reads)
Looking at the door. (does not tell who is knocking)
When Ava cooks. (does not tell what happens when Ava cooks)
Patricia was looking at the door.
When Ava cooks, she uses lots of different seasonings.
Fragments are created when there is neither a subject nor a verb.
That have been thrown away.
This fragment can be corrected by adding an independent clause.
Ned collects plastic containers that have been thrown away.
Eliminate the dependent word from the fragment.
While Pam waited for the bus.
If the dependent word while is removed, it will read:
Pam waited for the bus.
Add an independent clause to fragments that begin with ing words.
Trying to see over the rail.
Trying to see over the rail, Josie dropped her camera.
Add an independent clause to fragments that begin with the word to.
To improve the taste of the spaghetti.
To improve the taste of the spaghetti, Reba adds oregano and basil.
Since there is no punctuation separating the two sentences, it is a run-on.
Sentence 1: Phyllis saw Richard at the dry cleaners.
Sentence 2: She waved at him.
Example 2: I saw a lion at the zoo, it had a ferocious roar.
Example 1: Phyllis saw Richard at the dry cleaners, she waved at him.
The second example consists of two complete sentences.
Sentence 1: I saw a lion at the zoo.
Sentence 2: It had a ferocious roar.
These two sentences are separated by a comma. However, there is no coordinating conjunction to connect them.
Phyllis saw Richard at the drycleaners. She waved at him.
Place a comma and a coordinating conjunction between the two complete sentences.
I saw a lion at the zoo, and it had a ferocious roar.
Use a semicolon to connect the two complete sentences if the second sentence is closely related to the first sentence.
Mason went to the store; he bought a pound of ground beef.
Below are some words that lead to run-on sentences.
Run-on sentences are often created when the second complete sentence begins with one of the words shown above, and there is no correct form of punctuation used to separate them.
Reminder: Run-on sentences can be easily corrected by using one of the three suggestions listed above.