ENGL 098                            English Fundamentals

Run-On Sentences,

Coordinating

Conjunctions

What’s NOT a Run-On Sentence?

Which of the following sentences is a Run-On?

1.

I don't follow politics very closely I especially don't trust many of the claims campaigning

politicians make.

2.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political

bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the

separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent

respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them

to the separation.

3.

In modern day society, human beings these days express many different interests in many different

types of activities, such as working, watching TV, cooking, or dancing, and one of these activities

that is very interesting is traveling, which can take them to a variety of destinations to sightsee and

experience so many different forms of cultures and societies that differ from their own.

4.

I took a political science class last fall, it taught me about several different types of government,

however, we closely examined how democracy and capitalism are sometimes at war with each

other in the administration of government in the U.S.

Grammatical Entanglement

Notations

syntax

awk

mixed constr. (mixed)

Examples

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank was closed for a

federal holiday.

Methods of Correction

Make Separate Sentences

Identify the word or words that are being used in more than one role, and compose two sentences

that use those words in the respective roles:

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank.  The bank was closed for a federal

holiday.

Change and/or Add Parts Of Speech

Identify the problem part of speech and convert it into another part of speech that works better:

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, though it was closed for a federal

holiday.

Recast the Sentence

Rewrite the sentence so that the mixed construction is resolved and complex or compound-

complex sentence structure is achieved:

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, only to find that it was closed for a

federal holiday.

Fused Sentences

Notations

||

fused

R-O (fused)

Examples

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank || however, it was closed for a federal

holiday.

Methods of Correction

Use a Period

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank.  However, it was closed for a federal

holiday.

Add a Subordinating Conjunction

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, although it was closed for a federal

holiday.

Use a Comma and a Coordinating Conjunction

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, yet it was closed for a federal holiday.

Use a Semi-Colon With a Conjunctive Adverb

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank; however, it was closed for a federal

holiday.

Keep the Comma, but Add or Change a Word Into a Relative Pronoun

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, which closed for a federal holiday.

Recast the entire sentence

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, only to discover it was closed for a

federal holiday.

Comma-Spliced Sentences

Notations

c.s.

c.f. (comma fault)

R-O (c.s.)

Examples

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, however it was closed for a federal

holiday.

Methods of Correction

Replace the Comma With a Period and Start a New Sentence

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank.  It was closed for a federal holiday.

Keep the Comma but Add a Subordinating Conjunction

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, even though it was closed for a federal

holiday.

Keep the Comma but Add a Coordinating Conjunction

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, but it was closed for a federal holiday.

Instead Of the Comma, Use a Semi-Colon With a Conjunctive Adverb

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank; however, it was closed for a federal

holiday.

Keep the Comma, but Add or Change a Word Into a Relative Pronoun

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, which closed for a federal holiday.

Recast the entire sentence

On Monday, I left extra early to cash the check at the bank, closed, regrettably, for the federal

holiday.

SEMI-COLONS, COLONS and DASHES

Semi-colons [;] are not interchangeable with commas.  Rather, semi-colons are used to separate

elements in a series.  They are often used in combination with a colon after a sentence that

introduces a series of individual words, a series of phrases, or a series of whole clauses.  A series

has a minimum of three elements.  With three or fewer elements in a series, a comma and a

coordinating conjunction should be used instead.  (There is some flexibility with this rule:  a series

of three elements can still be separated by commas, but a series of four or more should use semi-

colons instead.)

Contrasting colors are a combination of one the three primary colors and the blend of the

remaining two:  yellow and purple; red and green; blue and orange.

When semi-colons are used to separate a series of two or more independent clauses without the

introduction of a colon, they create compound sentences.  Here, semi-colons can be used in place

of a comma and a coordinating conjunction whenever the writer wishes to imply the coordinated

relationship between two independent clauses.  This assumes that there is a relationship to begin

with, and that the writer is not simply stringing together clauses in an arbitrary way.  For this reason,

semi-colons should be used sparingly:

Many believe the color green to be a primary color; this is a mistaken assumption.

In the above example, the semi-colon is used instead of a comma and the coordinating

conjunction "but."

Just as semi-colons are not interchangeable with commas, colons [:] are not interchangeable with

semi-colons.  Rather, semi-colons are used strictly to introduce other clauses and phrase, such as

a quotation or elements in a series (semi-colons are used to separate these elements; see above).

Frequently, they follow an independent clause (a clause that reads as if it were a complete

sentence):

According to RuPaul, internationally renown gender-bending performer, in order

to become a successful drag entertainer in the twenty-first century, one must

possess four main traits:  charisma, that enthusiastic mass appeal; uniqueness,

that certain something others haven't seen before; nerve, the courage to be who

you are; and talent, the indispensable ability to do more than look pretty in drag.

Colons, however, are sometimes used after salutations and other notations in formal and

business-style letters, but even in this case the purpose is to introduce.

Attn:  Selection Committee

Re:  mergers and acquisitions

To Whom It May Concern:

Hello:

cc:

Dashes [--, —], which are twice the length of a hyphen (a.k.a. two en-dashes or one em-dash), are

not used interchangeably with colons; they do not introduce but rather segregate words, phrases,

or clauses from the sentence and create the effect of digression, interruption, or emphasis:

To be a pop icon in today's world--though, pop culture values unpopularity

as much as popularity these days--one has to do more than show up to media

events; Twitter, YouTube, paparazzi, and scandal--these all play a vital role

in maintaining one's pop status.

Dashes are also commonly used for attribution of authorship in inscriptions (those quotations

sometimes placed at the beginning of an essay, chapter, or book):

"Every time I feel the urge to exercise, I sit down until it goes away."--Mark Twain

Dashes, however, should never replace MLA style parenthetical citations used in the body of an

essay.

COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS

"Coordinating Conjunctions" conjoin--or, link together--compound elements; when coordinating

conjunctions are used to link two or more independent clauses, they create compound sentences.

"Coordinating" compound elements with a conjunction means showing the relationship between or

among them, and it indicates how the weight of importance should be distributed.

Answers to above

1.

Yes.  This is a fused sentence.

2.

No.  This is a complex sentence.

3.

No.  This is a rambling and wordy sentence.

4.

Yes.  This is a comma spliced sentence.

 

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