Fix Run On Sentences

Fix Run On Sentences
Image Copyright 2020 Joan Y. Edwards

“Fix Run-On Sentences” by Joan Y. Edwards

Many times when I read over my manuscript, I notice that there’s no punctuation in a few sentences. If someone was reading my manuscript aloud, he wouldn’t have periods to take a breath.

When you’re in the “wonderful writing zone,” getting all those great ideas from your mind to the paper, your punctuation fairy may be on break. You may have many run on sentences.

Stanford University says that Run On sentences is one of the top twenty errors found in undergraduate writing.

A Run On sentence is one that contains two or more clauses not connected by the correct conjunction or punctuation. A clause is a group of words that has a subject and a verb.

To make correct run-on sentences, you can
1) Separate clauses using punctuation.
2) Separate clauses using a conjunction.
3) Rearrange the words. You may add or remove words to make the meaning clear.

So let’s give a try to fix a few run on sentences:

Here are a few examples:

  1. We’ll let you get a new dog, you’ll have to care for him, feed him bathe him, and make sure he gets plenty of exercise, all before you go to school each morning and in the afternoon when you get home, and before you go to bed at night time, he’ll need a bed of his own and you’ll have to teach him a few tricks and how to behave.

     Whaaat? That’s one sentence! No way! Is the following better?

We’ll let you get a new dog. You’ll have to care for him, feed him and bathe him. He’ll need plenty of exercise before school, after school, and at night before you go to bed. He’ll need a bed of his own. You’ll need to teach him to obey.

2. Mr. Baxter was an interesting professor who dated only the best-selling novels written by Stephen King Arthur, Conan Doyle, John Grisham, and on the weekends because he was frightened of relationships with women which was because of the way he was brought up on Main Street in a little town north of Canton, Ohio where he had 8 older brothers and no sisters, sixteen cousins, and three dogs in a two bedroom house near a big farm.

      Whaaat? That’s one sentence! No way! Is the following better?

Mr. Baxter was an interesting professor. He was frightened of relationships with women even though he had eight sisters growing up in a little Ohio town. Instead of women, he dated best-selling novels written by Stephen King Arthur, Conan Doyle, and John Grisham. 

3. They found the little boy curled up fast asleep in the front row of the theater on Main Street near the hardware store where you can buy wagons and tool kits for children before Christmas or buy a Christmas tree with a stand he was tired and he had his favorite blanket with him The Lone Ranger’s horse still galloped across the screen with Tonto not far behind but he didn’t notice.

      Whaaat? That’s one sentence! No way! Is the following better?

The usher found the missing boy curled up in the front row of the theater on Main Street. He wasn’t worried about Santa or the  toys and Christmas trees in the hardware store next door. The Lone Ranger’s horse still galloped across the screen with Tonto not far behind, but he didn’t notice. He had his favorite blanket and teddy bear with him. He was sound asleep.

  • One afternoon Sally decided to go shopping and buy a few things she needed including punch and ice cream and chocolate cake for a party she was having on Saturday which she was looking forward to for Sheila’s birthday who was going to be twenty-one and needed a box of candles for the cake plus party favors and balloons.

      Whaaat? That’s one sentence! No way!

On Friday afternoon, Sally went shopping for Sheila’s 21st Birthday Party. She bought punch, ice cream, chocolate cake, candles, party favors, and balloons.

I hope this post helps you find and get rid of those dreaded run on sentences!

I’d love to see your examples of run on sentences with your ideas of how to fix them.

On January 11, 2020, I was 80 years young. To celebrate had a giveaway of a print copy of “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg.

Thank you very much to the five people  who left comments. Linda Andersen Gutheil did not want to participate in the drawing. That left 4 people.

  1. Bob Rich

  2. Kenneth Chang On

  3. Melanie Robertson-King

  4. Carol Baldwin

Random.org chose number 4, so Congratulations, Carol Baldwin. You are the winner of a print copy of  “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg. I’ll contact you by email so I can get your snail mail address to mail it to you!

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2020 Joan Y. Edwards

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10 thoughts on “Fix Run On Sentences”

    1. Dear Bob,
      Thanks so much for writing. You add joy to my life. I’m glad you like the rewrites of the run on sentences. Thanks for saying they were very clear and immediately conveyed the intended meaning! It is important to write clearly!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

  1. Thanks so much for publishing this informative article, Joan.
    One of the regular writers in our weekly parish bulletin loves to write long, run-on sentences which I have to fix. He is also fond of capitalizing words that should be lower case. I sent him an article on this, but he persists and I have to correct.

    I have sent him the link to this article and hope to see some improvement in his writing style.

    Keep up your good work and God bless you always.

    Ken

    1. Dear Ken,
      It is really good to hear from you. You bring me much joy. I do hope this helps the regular writers for your parish bulletin and others to look over their writing for clarity and correct punctuation. Every writer has to check their work for errors. I remember one time I sent off a manuscript to a publisher. It wasn’t accepted; however, I saw where I had used its instead of it’s. Yikes. It happens to all of us.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

  2. I most likely speak in run on sentences when I’m excited or stressed, but I don’t think I often write that way.

    Joan, you are always going to be young! Nice of you to celebrate your birthday with a give-away; however, I do not wish to participate in the drawing at this time. Thanks anyway.

    1. Dear Linda,
      Thanks a bunch for writing. It makes me smile when I hear from you. You’re right. Many of us probably speak in run on sentences, but don’t write using them as often. Thanks for saying I will always be young! I feel young. I won’t add your name in the drawing this time.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

    1. Dear Carol,
      Thank you for writing. Thank you for the Happy Birthday greeting. It was a fun day! You’re welcome for my reminder to let your readers take a breath by checking for run on sentences!
      Enjoy your day!

      Never Give Up
      Joan

  3. Thank you very much to the five people  who left comments on Fix Run On Sentences. Linda Andersen Gutheil did not want to participate in the drawing. That left 4 people.

    Bob Rich
    Kenneth Chang On
    Melanie Robertson-King
    Carol Baldwin

    Random.org chose number 4, so Congratulations, Carol Baldwin. You are the winner of a print copy of  “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg. I’ll contact you by email so I can get your snail mail address to mail it to you! 

    Never Give Up
    Joan

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