Business Writing

Run-on sentences

18. 1. 2016

In a previous tip I talked about sentence fragments. Today I want to talk about another sentence problem—run-on sentences.

The simplest way to describe these is to say that run-on sentences are sentences that need more punctuation or another word. In most cases they need to be more than one sentence, although in some instances the thoughts might be kept in the same sentence by adding something.  Run-on sentences are sometimes called fused sentences because they fuse multiple sentences together.

Here’s an example.

The committee met on Tuesday to discuss the budget it approved the budget.

This really needs to be two sentences, or to have something added to link the ideas together.

How to Fix Run-On Sentences

There are four ways to fix run-on sentences.

  1. Use a full stop and divide the sentence into two.
    The committee met on Tuesday to discuss the budget. It approved the budget.
  2. Use a semi-colon to keep more of a link between the two thoughts.
    The committee met on Tuesday to discuss the budget; it approved the budget.
  3. In some cases you can use a word (a coordinator)
    The committee met on Tuesday to discuss the budget and it approved the budget.
    The committee met on Tuesday to discuss the budget but it failed to approve the budget.
  4. And in some cases you can use a conjunction and a semi-colon (note in this example I had to alter the second sentence to make this work).
    The committee met on Tuesday to discuss the budget; however, it did not approve the budget.

Happy writing.

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