What Is a Run-on Sentence? (with Examples)

What Is a Run-on Sentence? (with Examples)

A run-on sentence is a common error caused by merging two sentences (i.e., independent clauses) without suitable punctuation. When a comma is used incorrectly between the two sentences, the error is known as a comma fault or a comma splice.

Examples of Run-on Sentences

Here are some examples of run-on sentences:

  • It is raining heavily the game is cancelled.
  • (This is a run-on sentence. It is made up of two standalone sentences. They cannot run from one to the other without punctuation.)
  • You can collect as many signatures as you like, the reservoir is still going to be built.
  • (This is a run-on sentence. It is made up of two standalone sentences. You cannot join them with a comma.)

  • Lee had all the best tackle, however, he failed to catch a single fish.
  • (The word however is a major cause of run-on sentences. When used as a bridge to the previous clause, the word however should start a new sentence or be preceded by a semicolon — definitely not a comma.)

    Fixing Run-on Sentences

    There are several ways to fix a run-on sentence. Look at this example:

    It is raining heavily the game is cancelled.

    Use separate sentences:
    • It is raining heavily. The game is cancelled.
    Use a semicolon:
    • It is raining heavily; the game is cancelled.
    Use a coordinating conjunction with a comma:
    • It is raining heavily, and the game is cancelled.
    Use a subordinating conjunction:
    • As it is raining heavily, the game is cancelled.

    See Also

    More about run-on errors and comma faults Extend a sentence with a semicolon What is a sentence? What are coordinating conjunctions? What are subordinating conjunctions? Glossary of grammatical terms