Saturday, May 1, 2021

Run-On Sentences

 A comment on a student paper that you may find perhaps useful:

If you find yourself naturally pausing, there is likely a comma or semicolon needed.  (Read that last sentence aloud right now; do you hear a pause?)  Could the parts after and before the pause be complete sentences?  If so, it is a compound sentence; put a semicolon at the pause.  If either side of the pause could not be a complete sentence, this is a complex sentence; you need a comma.  If you find that you have multiple pauses, look carefully at how long your sentence is.  You may be trying to put too many ideas in a single sentence.  


  1. That is probably the best explanation I've encountered addressing this issue.

  2. My English 101 prof had Strunk & White's on his book list. I still have my copy and used it constantly while working at a local museum where I wrote quite a bit.

  3. I have a reproduction of "Rules for Using English Good" from a 1968 issue of "Read Magazine", with twenty rules, the expression of each one violates the rule it expresses. As I would have said, "this is a violation of Rule 9, "Don't write run on sentences you must punctuate carefully."