Have you ever tried reading a sentence containing one or more thoughts a supposedly short sentence but were written in a continuous manner? (Don’t get confused, this one’s a run-on sentence, a fusion of thoughts without proper punctuations.)

What you’ve just read is an example of a run-on sentence, defined as two or more sentences fused into one. But it doesn’t mean that the long sentences you’ve read somewhere in a research paper, thesis, newspaper, or book are a run-on. As long as the sentence gives an independent clause regardless of the number of words before the punctuation, a period, a question mark, etc. is acceptable.

So, how do we identify a run-on sentence?

First, try to identify if your sentence contains two or more independent clauses.

For example,

“The economy is fluctuating due to COVID-19 pandemic a lot of private companies and small businesses were vulnerable to closure and triggered the spike in the unemployment rate.” 

Clearly, this is a run-on sentence that needs to be placed with proper punctuation. Let’s try to rewrite the fused sentences and put the missing punctuation to make it proper.

“The economy is fluctuating due to COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of private companies and small businesses were vulnerable to closure and triggered the spike in the unemployment rate.”

Notice the use of a comma (,) in between two independent clauses. That is one way of fixing the run-on sentence. The other way of separating clauses is with the use of coordinating conjunction, such as and, but, or, for, nor, etc.

For example,

RUN-ON SENTENCE: “The run-on sentence is easy to identify. Confusing to reconstruct as one.” 

RUN-ON SENTENCE W/ COORDINATING CONJUNCTION: “The run-on sentence is easy to identify but confusing to reconstruct as one.” 

Always remember, if the sentence is baffling your mind because it was written continuously, by which, the ideas for each independent clause were merged into one, follow these steps.

  1. Re-read, and pinpoint the independent clauses.
  2. After identifying two clauses, separate them with the use of coordinating conjunction or proper punctuation.
  3. Reread, and check if the run-on sentence was already written clearly.

Hopefully, this article guided you in identifying and fixing a run-on sentence.

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Kristine Gallego

Kristine is currently a Senior Designer in a Japanese architectural firm. She took up her studies in BS Architecture at the Technological Institute of the Philippines-Manila. During her college days, she was a consistent student leader and successfully topped her thesis exhibit as 6th placer. Along with her passion for design and arts, she's also an enthusiastic reader and an avid fan of historical documentaries. Studying history and human behavior is where her curiosity often brings her. The composition style of her literary pieces are inspired by dream-like scenarios, an alternate world to escape out of reality. Because her goal as a writer is to spread a positive vibe for the readers and to learn from them in return.