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9.3 Run-on Sentences: Spotting Run-on Sentences

When independent clauses meet in a sentence, they must be correctly compounded or else they create a run-on sentence.

This is not such an elegant playground, / still, the kids love it.

In the sentence above, a slash marks the spot where two independent clauses collide within the sentence. Notice that a comma doesn't prevent the collision; a run-on sentence with a comma between the two independent clauses is still a run-on sentence (sometimes called a comma splice).

Before you can recognize and correct run-on sentences, you need to be sure of the differences between independent and dependent clauses. Review the concept of clauses in Chapter 5.

Whenever you find more than one clause in a single sentence, check to see whether some are embedded and whether any independent clauses collide. Start by identifying any dependent words with an asterisk (*). Then discover the subject + verb combinations.

Those swings are the ones that* Dina always chooses, / they are just her size.
The slash (/) marks the point where a new independent clause begins without a conjunction.

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