Run-On Sentences

What are Run-On Sentences?

Run-on sentences are sentences that include more than one complete thought without the use of a punctuation mark to separate those complete thoughts. This means that run-on sentences are not complete sentences, even if they are really long.

When people ramble on, it's hard to follow what they're saying. The same thing can happen when people write. That's why you need to write in complete sentences, and not run-on sentences.

The best way to avoid run-on errors is to punctuate compound sentences correctly by using one or the other of these rules:

1) Separate the two ideas/thoughts into different sentences.

_________Idea #1__________. ________Idea #2___________.

I really enjoyed their performance. Jake and Jenny are really great singers!

2) Join the two complete thoughts with one of the FANBOYS conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet), and use a comma before the connecting word.

_________________________, (FANBOYS) _________________________.

He enjoys walking through the country, and he often goes backpacking on his vacations.

3) When you do not have a connecting word (or when you use a connecting word other than FANBOYS between the two complete thoughts) use a semicolon (;).

__________________________; _____________________________.

He often watched TV when there were only reruns; she preferred to read instead.


__________________________; however,____________________.

He often watched TV when there were only reruns; however, she preferred to read instead.

So, run-ons and fused sentences are terms describing two complete thoughts (independent clauses) that are joined together with no connecting word or punctuation to separate the clauses.