Posts tagged with: run-ons

Walker was not only a trailblazer in the medical field; she was also a relentless visionary.

Or

Walker was not only a trailblazer in the medical field, she was also a relentless visionary.

If I saw this appear on an actual test, I’d go with the first one. Technically, you’ve got independent clauses (i.e. complete thoughts) on both sides of the punctuation mark in question, so you want a semicolon.

However, I very much doubt that you’d see this on a real test. That’s because not only __ is usually followed by but also __. For example, “Walker was not only a trailblazer in the medical field, but also a relentless visionary.” For this reason, the not only construction to my ear really calls out for a comma, and a but also, making both options above feel kinda icky.

In one scene, Nike, the ancient goddess of victory, alights on a ship, (her wings outspread, with her garments rippling) in the wind.
A) same
B) her wings are outspread, her garments ripple
C) her wings outspread and her garments rippling
E) whose wings are outspread and her garments rippling
the answer is C, but i thought A,B,C were all momma splices because it has a subject and a verb… how do i solve this problem?

“Momma Splices” would be a great band name.

Yeah, this is a tricky one, but only B is a comma splice. A is wrong because it’s not parallel, and C is right because it is parallel. In the second half of the sentence, “outspread” and “rippling” are adjectives.

The charges against the organization are being investigated by a (committee, it includes) several senators. why its correction is (committee that includes) not as it is.

As it is, it’s a run-on. You have two complete thoughts, separated by only a comma. That’s a no-no.

A human amazed the world in 2004 [by winning] the Man versus Horse Marathon, [it] has pitted hundreds of people [against] horses every year [year since] 1980. [ No error]

i picked (B) becausee of the run on but i don’t know what should be replaced with it !

Replace the “it” with “which.” That relative pronoun makes it so that the second clause is dependent on the first to tell you what the “which” is.

There are (more than) 300 million English speakers (in) India, most of (them) acquired English (as) a second Language. (No Error)

I picked (No Error) but the answer is (them). Could you please explain why is this so?

With “them” in there, it’s a run-on. If you replace “them” with the relative pronoun “whom,” then you’re all good.

Splicccccce?

Unsure that he was prepared for the championship boxing match, Carlos’s day off was spent practicing and refining his strategies.

I narrowed it down to
B) Carlos was unsure that he was prepared for the championship boxing match, he therefore spent his day off practicing and refining his strategies.
And,
C) Feeling unsure that he was prepared championship boxing match, Carlos spent his day off practicing and refining his strategies.

I see no error in either, is B a comma splice?

Exactly. B has two independent clauses linked by only a comma. That won’t do. Here’s a good thing to remember: “therefore” is not a conjunction. If you changed B to say, “…boxing match, so he spent his day…,” it wouldn’t be a run-on.

Jared behaved like a person permanently on stage, he was always speaking in a dramatic voice and looking around to see who was listening.

A. he was always speaking
B. always he would speak
C. and he always spoke
D. always having spoken
E. always speaking

Why is A wrong? Why is E correct? What is the rule? Isn’t “always speaking” a run on?

A is a run-on–it has two complete thought separated by only a comma. E is good because with E, the part after the comma is not a complete thought, so no run-on. For more on run-ons, read this.

The African continent comprises more than 50 countries, each diverse in their cultures and languages.
B. diverse in its c. is diverse in its Why B is correct? Does C create a comma splice?

Thank you!

First, here’s an important thing to know: “each” is singular. So you need to use “its,” not “their,” to refer to “each.” I think you knew that, which is why you’re only asking about B and C. As for your question, yes, exactly. C creates a run-on.

( My grandson thinks he can cook better than any other person at the fair; and he) has the blue ribbons to prove it.

A) My grandson thinks he can cook better than any other person at the fair; and he

B) My grandson thinks he can cook better than any other person at the fair, and he

I put choice A but the answer was choice B. Could you also please explain when it is is appropriate to put a semi colon versus a comma?

I’ve got what I think is a pretty good tag-team explanation of that in this post.

The harsh condition in which bristlecone pine trees live may help to explain their exceptional longevity, (because those same conditions are also inhospitable to) the pest that can attack the trees.

a)because those same condition are also inhospitable to

b because those same conditions were inhospitable also for

c) he same conditions being also inhospitable with

d) since those conditions that are also inhospitable to

e)those conditions are also inhospitable to

You only have a comma before the part you can change, and before that comma is a complete thought (AKA an independent clause), so you need to make sure whatever you choose is not a complete thought otherwise you’ll create a run-on. Choice A is the only one that does this without creating any weird verb disagreement.

The (most studied) form of curiosity (is called) interest-type curiosity, (it is the) motivation to learn something (because) it is entertaining or novel.

Is the error here the fact that “it” is an ambiguous pronoun in the sentence?

Thanks

The error isn’t that it’s vague, it’s that the sentence is a run-on: the parts before and after the comma are both complete thoughts. If you change the “it” to “which,” then you make the second clause dependent on the first, fixing the run-on.

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague last night about the importance of having a process. The gist of his argument was this: it’s all well and good to understand what a run-on sentence is (for example), but there are lots of kids who know, objectively, what one is, and still miss run-on questions all the time. Top scorers don’t let any of those slip by because they have a process, and they stick to it.

I know I’ve spelled out processes for my students verbally a thousand times, but last night it occurred to me that I’d never tried to put one down on paper. After sitting down this morning and trying to create a flowchart for Error ID questions, I think I know why. Still, maybe this spaghetti mess is helpful?

I’m thinking of trying to do these for other question types, too. If I do, I’ll also try to tidy this one up a bit more, too. Thoughts?

A quick note before we begin: I’m positively elated to have teamed up with Tumblr all-star The YUNiversity for this post! Everybody knows that eye-popping visuals are a great boon to students trying to learn otherwise dry material, and nobody does them better. If you like the illustrations he provided for this post, you simply must make a habit of checking his site every day. He’s amazing.

Ok, now. If you want to understand run-on sentences, first you have to understand the difference between a sentence and a fragment. Both are similar in that they contain a subject and a verb, but a sentence can stand on its own as a complete thought, and a fragment cannot. Fragments seem to end abruptly, and leave you wanting to ask something like “…and then what?” To make things super clear in this post, in the examples below complete thoughts will be in green and fragments will be in brown.#

It’s easier to show this than to try to describe it, so here are some fragments. As you look them over, ask yourself “What is it about these that prevents them from standing alone as complete sentences?”

  • even though his fans booed him
  • when the cows come home
  • because her mother was in jail for grand theft auto
  • while you were sleeping
  • to whomever the taser belonged

None of the above are complete thoughts — they’re the beginnings or the ends of thoughts, but mean very little on their own. On the SAT, if you see a fragment trying to be a sentence all by itself, you have to fix it. Fragments are always wrong on the SAT.

A run-on (or “comma splice,” if you like) is kinda the opposite problem. If you come across a comma that’s separating two complete thoughts, that’s a run-on. Like fragments, run-ons are always wrong and you need to fix them.

A run-on looks like this:
Two complete thoughts separated by a comma? NO ME GUSTA.
To fix a run-on:

USE CONJUNCTIONS.
(FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)

WRONG: My father smokes cigars, everything in our house smells like cigars.
RIGHT: My father smokes cigars, so everything in our house smells like cigars.

WRONG: The other day my favorite episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was on, I didn’t watch it.
RIGHT: The other day my favorite episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was on, but I didn’t watch it.

WRONG: Corey stayed up until 2:00 AM last night, she’s feeling very tired today as a result.
RIGHT: Corey stayed up until 2:00 AM last night, and she’s feeling very tired today as a result.

USE SEMICOLONS.
(BE CAREFUL!!! On the SAT, semicolons REQUIRE complete thoughts on either side.
If there’s a fragment on one side of the semicolon, it’s wrong.)

WRONG: Make sure your zombie survival hideout is stocked with weapons that can pierce a human skull, the only way to kill a zombie is to destroy its brain.
RIGHT: Make sure your zombie survival hideout is stocked with weapons that can pierce a human skull; the only way to kill a zombie is to destroy its brain.

WRONG: The hardest part of the SAT for many students is its length, the test is almost four hours long.
RIGHT: The hardest part of the SAT for many students is its length; the test is almost four hours long.

WRONG: Yesterday I played laser tag, I won first place three times in a row against a bunch of 14 year olds.
RIGHT: Yesterday I played laser tag; I won first place three times in a row against a bunch of 14 year olds.

BREAK THE KNEECAPS OF ONE SIDE (CLAUSE FIX).
(If one side isn’t a complete thought anymore, problem solved!)

WRONG: Students at Brown University call themselves Brunonians, it’s weird.
RIGHT: Students at Brown University call themselves Brunonians, which is weird.

WRONG: The flashing lights kept me up at night, I had to move the router out of my bedroom.
RIGHT: Because the flashing lights kept me up at night, I had to move the router out of my bedroom.

WRONG: The developers’ commentary in Portal 2 is very enjoyable, however* players should play through the game without it first.
RIGHT: Although the developers’ commentary in Portal 2 is very enjoyable, players should play through the game without it first.

* The word “however” is NOT a conjunction and cannot be used to fix a run-on. If it’s not one of the FANBOYS, don’t use it as a conjunction. Click here for more on words like “however.”

USE A PERIOD.
(In real life, yes of course. On the SAT Sentence Improvement section though, this is never an option. The sentence you’re improving is always going to remain ONE sentence.)

Shall we summarize?

On the SAT Sentence Improvement section, when you see a comma (yes, every time) you must ask yourself:

Read about Dangling Modifiers, Broseph.

And don’t forget! Whenever you see a semicolon, you must ask yourself:

Think you’ve got all this? Try a drill, brochacho!

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# What we’re really talking about here, if you want to get technical, is the difference between dependent and independent clauses. A dependent clause DEPENDS on something, so it can’t stand on its own. Dependent clauses are fragments. Independent clauses can stand on their own as complete sentences. Every time you see “complete thought” in this post, we’re really talking about an independent clause. As for the color schemeindependent clauses are green, and dependent clauses are brown