Examples of Run-on Sentences [With Corrections]

If you join two sentences just by a comma or by nothing, you get a run-on sentence, which is an error. Run-on sentences are of two types: comma splice and fused sentence.

When two sentences are joined by just a comma, the resulting error is comma splice.

They should realize that their job is to serve people, they are not here to lord over them. [Comma splice]

When two sentences are joined by nothing, the resulting error is fused sentence.

They should realize that their job is to serve people they are not here to lord over them. [Fused sentence]

This post covers several examples of run-on sentences, both comma splices and fused sentences, along with corrections. These examples have been listed under five categories based on how commonly these errors occur.

  1. Run-on sentences with conjunctive adverbs
  2. Run-on sentences with introductory phrases
  3. Run-on sentences with pronouns
  4. Run-on sentences with noun clauses and interrogative sentences
  5. Other run-on sentences

These five categories are followed by few examples that may be erroneously taken as run-on sentences.

Corrections have been made to run-on sentences through five different methods: Two sentences, Semicolon, Coordinating conjunction, Dependent clause, and Phrase. (Note that every run-on error can be corrected by simply writing two sentences, but it’s not always the best option for conveying meaning.) These methods have been indicated in magenta font to differentiate them from other comments. Since the first two methods (Two sentences and Semicolon) are quite straightforward, they’ve mostly been just mentioned wherever they’re appropriate corrections. For the other three, corrected run-ons have been written.

More resources on run-on sentences:

To get the most out of these examples, identify each run-on sentence as comma splice or fused sentence and think how you would correct the error.

Note: In the examples, the sentence responsible for run-on error has been underlined.

Run-on sentences with conjunctive adverbs

One of the most common run-on errors occur when people punctuate conjunctive adverbs (therefore, however, hence, instead, now, then, etc.) starting the second sentence like they do coordinating conjunctions joining two sentences.

The best way to correct such run-on errors is to write two sentences or separate them by a semicolon, with a comma following the conjunctive adverb.

In this category, all ten are examples of comma splice. (That’s reflective of the reality. In writing, an overwhelming majority of run-on errors are comma splices; only few are fused sentences.) The first example has been corrected; you can correct others similarly.

1. I don’t think we need that many, therefore we should cut down the number.

I don’t think we need that many. Therefore, we should cut down the number. [Two sentences]

I don’t think we need that many; therefore, we should cut down the number. [Semicolon]

2. We become perfect at something only through repeated practice, however, it shouldn’t be mindless practice. [Two commas around conjunctive adverb are not uncommon. This still is a run-on.]

3. But this is all in dreams, and we don’t experience dreams, hence time dreaming is lost every day from our lives.

4. Earlier math problems were shoved at him, now he is grabbing them.

5. I finished household chores in the morning, then I went shopping.

6. We should avoid using single-use plastic carry bags, instead, we should use jute bags.

7. Many of us have worn both the hats, and we know that customers are not always right, still we’ve to treat them to be always right to avoid losing them.

8. Defeated enemy should be given an easy path to flee, otherwise he may inflict great loss in the desperate bid to save himself.

9. In a study by NASA, the pilots who took a 26-minute nap reduced their lapses in awareness by 34 percent compared to those who didn’t nap, moreover those who napped showed an improvement of 16 percent in their reaction times.

10. They should focus on improving themselves, rather they’re focusing on blaming others.

Run-on sentences with introductory phrases

Another common run-on error happens when introductory phrases in the second sentence are punctuated like coordinating conjunctions joining two sentences.

The best way to correct such run-on errors is to write two sentences, with the introductory phrase in the second sentence (in bold) separated from the main clause by a comma. Although less preferred, sometimes the run-on sentence may be corrected by joining the two sentences through a coordinating conjunction.

In this category, all six are examples of comma splice. The first example has been corrected; you can correct others similarly.

11. Unlike my regular routine, yesterday I got up late, as a result I was behind on my task list through the day.

Unlike my regular routine, yesterday I got up late. As a result, I was behind on my task list through the day. [Two sentences]

Unlike my regular routine, yesterday I got up late, and as a result, I was behind on my task list through the day. [Coordinating conjunction]

12. The hotelier’s son went scot-free in the highly publicized hit-and-run case, after all, there is one law for the rich and another for the poor. [Two commas around the introductory phrase are not uncommon. This still is a run-on.]

13. As a society, we’re becoming more and more insensitive, self-centred, and apathetic on matters of public importance, little wonder, our leaders too aren’t first rate.

14. You’ll have plenty of friends in good times, but most will disappear in bad times, that’s why it’s important to have few but good friends.

15. The plumber could fix almost any kind of problem, according to him, he has become proficient by learning from his mistakes.

16. It was nice to meet you at yesterday’s event, after listening to your speech and insights on the industry trends, I am eager to work in your organization.

Run-on sentences with pronouns

Second sentence starting with pronoun too is prone to run-on error.

Any of the methods to correct run-on can work, but writing two sentences is still popular in such cases. (Note that every run-on error can be corrected by simply writing two sentences, but it’s not always the best option for conveying meaning.) Since such errors can be corrected in number of ways, run-ons have been corrected in each example unless corrections can be made by semicolon or writing two sentences, which is quite straightforward.

In this category, only #17, 24, 26, 30, and 34 are examples of fused sentences. Rest are examples of comma splice.

17. The university introduced online application form last year they hoped that the new system will lead to fewer mistakes.

The university introduced online application form last year, hoping that the new system will lead to fewer mistakes. [Phrase (participial phrase)]

18. Roger Federer is old for a professional tennis player, but he still enjoys taking to courts and interacting with fans, it’s not work for him. [Two sentences]

19. There rarely are completely free offers, they come attached with hooks. [Semicolon]

20. Government presented a white paper on black money in Parliament, it spelt out a strategy to curb generation of illicit money.

Government presented a white paper on black money in Parliament, spelling out a strategy to curb generation of illicit money. [Phrase (participial phrase)]

21. You might be wondering which channel I’m talking about, well I’m talking about Animal Planet. [Two sentences, with well separated by a comma in the second sentence]

22. We should be thankful for whatever little we have, that’s better than not having anything. [Two sentences]

23. The coach told me to stop, I didn’t, but he didn’t say anything to me. [Two sentences]

24. The government should make laws to protect environment, and we must not forget that we are not owners of this planet we are inheritors. [Two sentences/ Semicolon]

25. The answer to the question ‘should hunting of non-endangered species be allowed’ is no, it shouldn’t be. [Two sentences]

26. I struggled to decide the discipline to study in college I was confused with so many choices. [Semicolon]

I struggled to decide the discipline to study in college as I was confused with so many choices. [Dependent clause (adverb clause)]

Confused with so many choices, I struggled to decide the discipline to study in college. [Phrase (participial phrase)]

27. It can’t be changed in a day, it will take time. [Semicolon]

28. Innovations in small towns and rural areas often go unnoticed, which is a loss to the country, they must be explored. [Two sentences]

Innovations in small towns and rural areas, which often go unnoticed and hence are a loss to the country, must be explored. [Dependent clause (relative clause)]

29. Because of restrictions and fear of contracting the virus, few go out these days, they prefer to work from home. [Two sentences]

Because of restrictions and fear of contracting the virus, few go out these days, preferring to work from home. [Phrase (participial phrase)]

30. I climbed down from my position before the friendly argument could heat up we all parted amicably.

I climbed down from my position before the friendly argument could heat up, and we all parted amicably. [Coordinating conjunction]

31. I think it was your fault, and you should be the one to say sorry and make up with your estranged brother, it’s never too late to mend. [Two sentences]

32. We expect our bureaucracy, politicians, and other leaders to be impeccable, but they don’t descend from heavens, they come from the very people they represent. [Two sentences/ Semicolon]

33. You’ve put a salesperson in customer service, that’s not going to work. [Two sentences]

You’ve put a salesperson in customer service, a move that’s not going to work. [Phrase (appositive phrase)]

34. There are several entrepreneurs who are developing products to protect environment these should be studied and adopted. [Two sentences]

Run-on sentences with noun clauses and interrogative sentences

Second sentences starting with a noun clause or interrogative sentences as second sentences are also prone to run-on error.

The best way to correct such run-on errors is to write two sentences.

In this category, only #38 is an example of fused sentence. Rest are examples of comma splice. The first example has been corrected; you can correct others similarly.

35. We haven’t talked about animals that aren’t endangered, should we hunt those animals for our needs.

We haven’t talked about animals that aren’t endangered. Should we hunt those animals for our needs? [Two sentences]

36. You parted with your business partner acrimoniously more than six years back, why don’t you make up.

37. Government has approved another power project in an ecologically sensitive region, hasn’t it approved.

38. Testing kids in school multiple times won’t improve their performance what’s required is an elaborate system to work on students’ weak areas.

39. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, what matters is who you are inside, but most fail to see that.

Other run-on sentences

In this category, only #42 is an example of fused sentence. Rest are examples of comma splice.

40. I know he was all praise for your business acumen, don’t take his words literally as this guy needs business from us. [This is an imperative sentence, which doesn’t mention the subject explicitly.]

I know he was all praise for your business acumen, but don’t take his words literally as this guy needs business from us. [Coordinating conjunction]

41. The school placed 90 percent of its students, remaining pursued higher education or started ventures. [Two sentences/ Semicolon. The second sentence is an elliptical sentence, with students omitted.]

The school placed 90 percent of its students, with the remaining pursuing higher education or starting ventures. [Phrase (absolute phrase)]

42. Those in power can be vulnerable many aspire to replace them.

Those in power can be vulnerable as many aspire to replace them. [Dependent clause (adverb clause)]

With many aspiring to replace them, those in power can be vulnerable. [Phrase (absolute phrase)]

43. Sometimes people get frustrated with bureaucracy of large organizations, sometimes they struggle to find meaning in their lives as they go through the daily rigmarole. [Two sentences/ Semicolon]

Sometimes people get frustrated with bureaucracy of large organizations, and sometimes they struggle to find meaning in their lives as they go through the daily rigmarole. [Coordinating conjunction]

44. I worked in Bay area for five years, some of the world’s marquee software companies are based there. [Two sentences]

I worked in Bay area, where some of the world’s marquee software companies are based, for five years. [Dependent clause (relative clause)]

45. We were happy to see them, so were they. [Semicolon]

46. Government appointed four judges, the number of judges now is twelve.

Government appointed four judges, taking the number of judges to twelve. [Phrase (participial phrase)]

These are not run-on sentences

In these examples, unlike all the examples so far, the underlined part is not a sentence. Hence, it has been correctly joined to the preceding sentence with just a comma or nothing.

47. In earlier times, kings used to be on their guard all the time, suspicious of plots to overthrow them.

48. It is the part of a good shepherd to shear his flock, not to skin it.

49. The Vice President in our division was quite a busy and harried person, regularly reviewing our progress against the targets and answering to the top management.

50. The man whiled away time awaiting his friend, his fingers tapping on the table much to the consternation of the person on the next table. [The underlined part looks very much like a sentence but is not. If it were a sentence, the verb would have been were tapping and not tapping. It’s a phrase, an absolute phrase.]

51. The writer is referring to the period when people started making a wider variety of tools. [Marker words that begin dependent clauses are sometimes not written explicitly; they’re implied. Here, when is understood even though it has been omitted, implying we’re joining a dependent clause to a sentence, and not two sentences.]

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