Run-on sentences

You may have seen "run-on sentence!" written on one of your papers in red ink by your teacher, but what exactly does that mean?

What is a run-on sentence?

A run-on sentence is one with a thought that carries over to the next line, especially without a syntactical break.

Run-on sentence examples

Example 1

"Jenny likes cats she has two a tabby and a tuxedo."

How to fix this run-on sentence

Add a coordinating conjunction and a colon to separate the different thoughts:

"Jenny likes cats, and she has two: a tabby and a tuxedo.

Example 2

"I went to the store, it was closed, so I came straight home."

How to fix this run-on sentence

Add a coordinating conjunction:

"I went to the store, but it was closed, so I came straight home.

Example 3: Historical Edition

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of the noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

How to fix this run-on sentence

When a run-on sentence is a masterpiece of literature, it's best to leave it as is.

What's the worst run-on sentence you've ever seen?

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