Writing Tip #13: Run-on sentences

If you’re exhausted or confused after reading a sentence, chances are, you just read a run-on sentence.

Reading a run-on sentence is like listening to someone telling you a story without pausing or taking a breath. It’s exhausting.

What is a run-on sentence?
A run-on sentence contains two or more parts, with each one able to stand on its own. It’s a sentence made up of independent clauses that have been mixed together, without correct punctuation or conjunction.

Examples:
Wrong: It’s raining outside I need to bring an umbrella.
Right: It’s raining outside. I need to bring an umbrella.

Wrong: I look forward to dinner tonight I can’t wait to taste the mushroom risotto.
Right: I look forward to dinner tonight. I can’t wait to taste the mushroom risotto.

Wrong: I stayed up all night editing my book, I almost fell asleep a few times, I hope I didn’t miss anything.
Right: I stayed up all night editing my book. I almost fell asleep a few times. I hope I didn’t miss anything.

Run-on sentences don’t necessarily have to be long. They can be short but still contain two or more independent clauses.

To fix a run-on sentence, you can add the right punctuation marks, or split up the different parts by starting new sentences.

Test your skills and take this quiz on run-on sentences:
Quiz

0 Replies to “Writing Tip #13: Run-on sentences”

  1. Cormac McCarthy uses run on sentences that many would say should be fixed, but he manages to do it in a beautiful way. Like in any art, you can’t break the rules if you don’t know them. But once you have mastered the rules, break them all! 🙂

    1. Hi Daniel! I just went on Amazon and quickly read a few paragraphs of The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. You’re right. He does use run-on sentences, and for some reason, I wasn’t “exhausted” after reading them. Lol. I like breaking the rules once in a while, but I’m still avoiding run-on sentences. 🙂

      1. Probably safer that way, for now. But when your books are made into blockbuster movies, and you have won the Pulitzer Prize, I dare you to use a few run on sentences. It might be fun, and no one can tell you that you are wrong. 😉

  2. Cormac McCarthy uses run on sentences that many would say should be fixed, but he manages to do it in a beautiful way. Like in any art, you can’t break the rules if you don’t know them. But once you have mastered the rules, break them all! 🙂

    1. Hi Daniel! I just went on Amazon and quickly read a few paragraphs of The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. You’re right. He does use run-on sentences, and for some reason, I wasn’t “exhausted” after reading them. Lol. I like breaking the rules once in a while, but I’m still avoiding run-on sentences. 🙂

      1. Probably safer that way, for now. But when your books are made into blockbuster movies, and you have won the Pulitzer Prize, I dare you to use a few run on sentences. It might be fun, and no one can tell you that you are wrong. 😉

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