How To: Fix Run-On Sentences

Run-on sentences are two complete sentences fused into one without using coordination conjunctions or proper punctuation. They can be short or long; a long sentence doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a run-on sentence.

Here are three examples of a run-on sentence:

  1. She decided to have dinner with Min however it was cancelled last minute.
  2. She prefers roses to tulips John didn’t know that.
  3. He loved playing games she did too.

Run-on sentences are tedious to read; the reader doesn’t know when or where to stop to absorb what they read. Additionally, your ideas can easily get lost in the flow of information.

Here are the corrected examples of the run-on sentences above:

  1. She decided to have dinner with Min; however, it was cancelled last minute.
  2. She prefers roses to tulips, but John didn’t know that.
  3. He loved playing games. She did too.

Based on the corrections, did you already catch how they can be corrected?

How To Correct Run-On Sentences

The best way to avoid run-on sentences is to see if there are multiple ideas communicated by two or more complete sentences.

Referring to the first example above, “Dinner with Min” and “cancelled last minute” are two ideas. Therefore, you can separate them using a period or with the proper conjunction and punctuation.

However, be careful of punctuation. By placing a comma between two complete sentences doesn’t eliminate the run-on sentence problem. Refer to the example below:

The concert has started, we should hurry inside.

The above example is still a run-on sentence. This kind of run-on sentence is a comma splice. Comma splices can be fixed with the same solutions as normal run-on sentences.

Test Your Knowledge

Ready to test your knowledge on correcting run-on sentences? Take this quiz and find out!

Differences Exposed: E.g. Vs. I.e.

Were you ever reading and came across these two abbreviations and wondered what the heck they mean? E.g. and i.e. are Latin abbreviations and mean “for example” and “in other words” respectively.

They are often mistakenly used as interchangeable terms. Let’s break down their differences and get into the nitty-gritty of what every student to professional should know about these two terms.

What Does E.g. Mean?

E.g. is short for exempli gratia, a Latin phrase meaning “for the sake of example.” Again, it’s used to say “for example.” E.g. is used when you want to introduce one or more examples. You do not need to list every possibility. Rather, it’s used to suggest a few examples and not an exhaustive list. It can also be used to say that you’re seeing or listing one or more possibilities.

Here are a few examples of e.g.

  1. She needed to buy her groceries (e.g., eggs, milk, and juice) for the month.
  2. The city is looking to invest in more forms of sustainable energy (e.g., solar and wind) for the year.

E.g. is written in lowercase when used in the middle of a sentence like the examples above. You also do not need to italicize them.

What Does I.e. mean?

I.e. is the abbreviated form of id est. It also has Latin origins and means “in other words.” In contrast to e.g., i.e. clarifies information or narrows possibilities rather than giving more.

Here are a few examples using i.e.

  1. She is going to a concert held at the new arena, i.e., Citydome.
  2. He is thinking of going to the restaurant (i.e., MTA) next week with his family.
  3. I enjoy playing these card games, i.e., bridge and crazy eights.

As you can see, i.e., gives a specific example and clarifies where she’s going and which restaurant he is thinking of going to. Additionally, because I used i.e. in the third sentence instead of e.g., those card games are the only ones I enjoy.

More Examples Of E.g. and I.e.

To recap, e.g. is used to give one or more examples. I.e. is giving more precise information. Below are some sample sentences that compare e.g. and i.e.

You are thinking of going outside the country (e.g., New Zealand or Switzerland) for vacation.
You are thinking of going outside the country (i.e., New Zealand) for vacation.

In the first example, you are thinking of visiting New Zealand or Switzerland for vacation. In the second example, New Zealand is the exact place you are thinking of visiting.

Should We Ditch The Language Textbooks?

Learning A Language: Unconsciously And Consciously

Unconscious language learning does not mean learning a language while you sleep. Rather, it’s the ability to learn without realizing. Learning a language unconsciously happens predominantly in children, and is also commonly referred to as language acquisition. More traditional language learning methods such as grammar rules and instruction are conscious learning processes.

The more effective language study is language acquisition. By being actively engaged in speaking and listening, your focus is on the message rather than how it’s being communicated. Grammar rules are used sparingly and are used as a last-minute process to ensure thoughts are coherent. People successful in speaking a second language don’t use rules to form sentences.

Tip: Learn how to use translated into concise sentences within the U-Dictionary App.

So, if language acquisition is more effective than traditional methods, how can we learn language acquisition more effectively? Can we start ditching language textbooks?

Learning Language Acquisition (Without A Speaking Partner)

Let’s assume you’re trying to learn English. Speaking and listening in a second language usually requires a conversation between you and a native English speaker.

You may be in an environment where English native speakers are sparse. In that case, what alternatives do you have?

Try strictly thinking in English. More often than not we think in our native language. After knowing what we want to say, we have to translate our thoughts into the language we want to speak. That’s double the effort. Why not try thinking all in English? Even bilinguals have trouble switching between languages.

Learn through TV or movies. Choose a short dialogue from your favourite English show or movie and try to mimic their tone and speed. It’ll not only give you a better idea of how conversational English usually sounds but you might also learn some new vocabulary from it too.

Tip: Choose between our American and British pronunciation settings to know exactly what your translated word sounds like in English.

Practice without stopping. When we say something wrong or think we say something wrong, we have a bad habit of immediately trying to correct ourselves. This has a subconscious effect on us in that we become less confident and comfortable. Without having a speaking partner, find some time to practice on your own. It would help to practice in front of a mirror. It’ll get some time getting used to, and you might feel extremely silly at first. But we guarantee that perseverance will take you far.

Learning Language Acquisition (With A Speaking Partner)

Having a speaking buddy can be the most effective way to learn a second language. But even having a speaking partner have its complications: we’re afraid of making too many mistakes, we’re afraid of not sounding “native” enough, how does he or she think about my English?

This is where your personal practice time will pay off. Practicing with a native speaker shouldn’t be considered as your “practice” time. Rather, it should be a test of your skills. Additionally, it will give you insight on where you should be focusing your efforts.

Maybe you’ll discover that the words you’ve been practicing aren’t used for oral English and are more common in writing instead. Or, you’ll discover that you still have difficulty with the pronunciation of some words. In this case, don’t be afraid of asking the speaker to correct you. We recommend telling the person beforehand that you want to practice your English. It’s best to catch your mistakes before they become habits.

Can We Ditch The Language Textbooks?

No. We do not recommend skipping learning grammar rules. Regardless of what skill you’re trying to improve, good grammar is an essential skill that you should work to build. Learning how to speak fluently will differ from learning how to write effectively. It’s a common misconception that by knowing how to speak a language, you will automatically acquire great writing skills in that language. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Textbooks should be used as a resource and not as a primary language learning tool. It will always be helpful to have a tool that you can refer to as you embark on your language learning journey.

Did you find this useful? Give us a comment, like, or share to let us know!