Tag Archives: conjunction

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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Stop Boredom: Vary the Beginnings of Your Sentences

Vary Beginnings of Sentences Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

“Stop Boredom! Vary the Beginnings of Your Sentences” by Joan Y. Edwards

Vary the beginnings of your sentences to incite interest and keep boredom from putting your readers to sleep. First, I’ll explain the different parts of speech. Then I will give you two writing exercises. I hope you enjoy them. I’ll do them, too. We’ll compare notes in the comment area.

Parts of Speech:

  • noun

name of person, place, or thing: Jacob, Denver, stapler.

  • pronoun

word used that refers to an earlier mentioned person, place, or thing. He, she, it, we, you, they, them, etc.

  • verb

action word or state of being

  • adjective

description of noun or pronoun
Adjectives are describing words:  Jane wore a yellow scarf. She needed a heavy jacket.
The words – a, an, the – are special adjectives called articles. Articles are words that determine whether the noun following it is a certain, definite noun or an indefinite one, meaning any, not a specific one.  
For example: There is a book on the table. She is an angel. Jacob is the winner. 

  • preposition

Hunter College Reading Writing Center states that a preposition is a connecting word that shows the relationship of a noun or a noun substitute to another word in the sentence. Here are nine most used prepositions:  at, by, for, from, in, of, on, to, with. Here are others: about, after, along, around, beside, between, over, through, under, up
Many phrases that explain which, where, when, why, or how use prepositions.
The girl with the feather stood up. (Which girl? The girl with the feather)
He went to the party. (Where did he go? to the party)
The team played with great vigor. (How did the team play? with great vigor)
The players drank plenty of water after the game,. (When did they drink plenty of water? after the game)
Jacob ran for shelter.  (Why did Jacob run? for shelter)

  • adverb

word that describes a verb by answering the question when, where, why, how, and under what conditions something happened or happens. Many adverbs end in -ly. Not all words that end in -ly are adverbs: like lovely, lonely, and motherly are adjectives, not adverbs.
Jacob raced the car yesterday. (When did Jacob race the car? Yesterday)
The student walked here. (Where did the student walk? Here)
Jacob drove fast. (How did Jacob drive? fast)
Cecilia planted grass to stop erosion. (Why did Cecilia plant seeds? to stop erosion. This is an infinitive adverbial phrase that answers the question why?)

  • conjunction

is a word that joins or connects parts of a sentence: words to words, phrases to phrases, or clauses to clauses. Here are examples of coordinating conjunctions that join parts of sentences that are the same:  and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet
Subordinating conjunctions that join dependent clauses to independent clauses are: after, although, as, as if, as long as, as though, because, before, even if, even though, if, if only, in order that, now that, once, rather than, since, so that, than, that, though, till, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, wherever, while.
Info about conjunctions: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/conjunctions.htm

  • interjection

is a word set apart from the rest of the sentence with an exclamation point that shows great emotion and/or excitement: aha, bravo, drats, eek, fiddlesticks, gee whiz, ha ha, oh dear, uh oh, wow, yippee.
Editors frown on using a lot of interjections. Keep the numbers down.
List of Interjections: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/wordlist/interjections.shtml
Another list of interjections: http://www.english-grammar-revolution.com/list-of-interjections.html


What part of speech begin most of your sentences?

Many of us begin most of our sentences the same way. Sometimes we do it for effect. Other times, we may be focusing on the plot and not in the sentence structure. Here is an exercise to help you practice beginning sentences that are related in paragraph format.
Print this blog post.
Now that you know what the parts of speech are, copy and print page 3 of your manuscript, page 30 or 100 of the same or a different manuscript. After you do the WRITING EXERCISE 2 today, place a tally mark in the column for the part of speech that begins your sentences. I included adjectives and articles separately, because I believe many times we start too many sentences with articles.

Parts of Speech

Writing Samplespart of speech for beginning  of each  sentence. Page 3 novelor all pages of  picture book Page 30 or 100or all pages of picture book 20 Random Words Writing exercise
Articles  (a,an,the)


Use the 20 words below in a story. Write a new story, use characters from a work in progress, or use a character from your favorite book. 16 words that can be used as nouns,  8 words that can be used as verbs. 6 words that can be used as adjectives.  Several can be used as both nouns and verbs; others can be used as both nouns and adjectives.
Set the timer for 20 minutes. Write your story using as many of these 20 words as possible..

  1. architect
  2. blemish
  3. cancel
  4. code
  5. degree
  6. disbelief
  7. escape
  8. game
  9. humor
  10. Juice
  11. listless
  12. mask
  13. mechanic
  14. mile
  15. pet
  16. power
  17. ravishing
  18. respond
  19. uniform
  20. yearn

At the end of 20 minutes. Read what you have written. Were you able to use most of the words. Tally the number of the part of speech that begins each sentence in the chart you printed out.
I’ll bet the beginning of your sentences varied more because you were more aware it. If not, it’s a great way to incorporate a list of random words in a story. I hope you will realize that using a random set of words can bring on a creative flow of juices, you never thought you had.
If you vary the beginnings of your sentences, you insight interest and keep boredom from putting your readers to sleep.
Please share what you wrote in the WRITING EXERCISE 2 using 20 random words. I’ll bet that your tally marks show that you already do a good job of varying the beginning of sentences to keep your readers awake and engaged. Awesome!
Celebrate you.
Write. Write. Write.
Never Give Up
Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards


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