Exercises on Run-On Sentence

A run-on sentence error happens when two sentences are joined by a comma (resulting in comma splice error) or nothing (resulting in fused sentence error).

Opportunities don’t just happen, you create them. [Comma splice]

Opportunities don’t just happen you create them. [Fused sentence]

This post contains exercises on run-on sentences and its two types – comma splice and fused sentence.

More resources on run-on sentences:

Which of the following is a run-on sentence?

In the four exercises below, do following:

  • Identify if the sentences are run-on.
  • If a sentence is run-on, identify if it’s a comma splice or a fused sentence. Also, correct the error by joining the two sentences appropriately.

In case a sentence is run-on, the answers also provide its corrected version(s), with the correction method mentioned in square brackets. 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.

Exercise 1

1. Beware of an overly attractive offer it may just be a bait to catch you.

2. Recently, I attended a conference, I met Vice President of the company there.

3. Necessity forces poor to take up unpleasant tasks, sometimes in violation of law.

4. Opposition parties are opposing the government even on the issue of national security, where we must stand united, a house divided cannot stand.

5. If you fail, the problem lies with you, don’t blame the test paper.

Answers to Exercise 1

1. Run-on (fused sentence)

Beware of an overly attractive offer. It may just be a bait to catch you. [Two sentences]

Beware of an overly attractive offer as it may just be a bait to catch you. [Dependent clause (adverb clause)]

2. Run-on (comma splice)

Recently, I attended a conference, where I met Vice President of the company. [Dependent clause (relative clause)]

Recently, I attended a conference. There, I met Vice President of the company. [Two sentences]

3. Not a run-on

The part after comma is not a sentence.

4. Run-on (comma splice)

Opposition parties are opposing the government even on the issue of national security, where we must stand united. A house divided cannot stand. [Two sentences]

5. Run-on (comma splice)

If you fail, the problem lies with you. Don’t blame the test paper. [Two sentences]

Exercise 2

1. A storm ravaged several districts of the state on Tuesday night, it destroyed thousands of huts and standing crops.

2. Ask about your neighbors, then buy the house.

3. I dozed off and fell ten feet to the ground, I landed on my back.

4. Bypassing competent professionals in his Company, the businessman appointed his less-experienced son to a senior position, after all blood is thicker than water.

5. If you utilize the peace time to get better at war, your adversaries will hesitate in waging a war on you, and hence the time of peace will stretch.

Answers to Exercise 2

1. Run-on (comma splice)

A storm ravaged several districts of the state on Tuesday night. It destroyed thousands of huts and standing crops. [Two sentences]

A storm ravaged several districts of the state on Tuesday night, destroying thousands of huts and standing crops. [Phrase (participial phrase)]

2. Run-on (comma splice)

Ask about your neighbors. Then, buy the house. [Two sentences]

Ask about your neighbors; then, buy the house. [Semicolon]

3. Run-on (comma splice)

I dozed off and fell ten feet to the ground, landing on my back. [Phrase (participial phrase)]

4. Run-on (comma splice)

Bypassing competent professionals in his Company, the businessman appointed his less-experienced son to a senior position. After all, blood is thicker than water. [Two sentences]

5. Not a run-on

The two sentences have been correctly joined by coordinating conjunction and.

Exercise 3

1. But that’s not the full story, within weeks of this feat, another runner, an Australian named John Landy, broke the four-minute barrier.

2. The path to develop human colony on Mars is challenging, but people have already started work on it, hopefully things will move forward.

3. Nothing changed in those three years what changed was self-belief among athletes.

4. I went to the pharmacy to get Covid testing kit, they told me that the kit was out of stock.

5. Plan, but act.

Answers to Exercise 3

1. Run-on (comma splice)

But that’s not the full story. Within weeks of this feat, another runner, an Australian named John Landy, broke the four-minute barrier. [Two sentences]

2. Run-on (comma splice)

The path to develop human colony on Mars is challenging, but people have already started work on it. Hopefully, things will move forward. [Two sentences]

3. Run-on (fused sentence)

Nothing changed in those three years. What changed was self-belief among athletes. [Two sentences]

Nothing changed in those three years; what changed was self-belief among athletes. [Semicolon]

4. Run-on (Comma splice)

I went to the pharmacy to get Covid testing kit. They told me that the kit was out of stock. [Two sentences]

I went to the pharmacy to get Covid testing kit, only to find that the kit was out of stock. [Phrase (infinitive phrase)]

5. Not a run-on

The two one-word imperative sentences have been correctly joined by coordinating conjunction but.

Exercise 4

1. Sometimes, people find unexpected opportunity come their way, but they can’t make use of it because they aren’t prepared for it in terms of skills or qualifications.

2. More than three-quarter of the class scored more than 60 percent marks in the last semester, few failed though.

3. After being hit repeatedly, the boxer was in pain, his nose bleeding but his spirit as high as ever.

4. Space X wasn’t happy with single-launch rockets because they made space launches unduly expensive, as a result, they innovated and now use reusable rockets.

5. Howsoever well we may live, we’ll not consider current period to be golden, instead we’ll long for the past.

Answers to Exercise 4

1. Not a run-on

The two sentences have been correctly joined by coordinating conjunction but.

2. Run-on (Comma splice)

More than three-quarter of the class scored more than 60 percent marks in the last semester. Few failed though. [Two sentences]

More than three-quarter of the class scored more than 60 percent marks in the last semester; few failed though. [Semicolon]

3. Not a run-on

After being hit repeatedly, the boxer was in pain, his nose bleeding but his spirit high as ever.

The underlined part looks like a sentence but is not. It’s a phrase, an absolute phrase. This would be a sentence (notice was) though: His nose was bleeding but his spirit was high as ever.

4. Run-on (Comma splice)

Space X wasn’t happy with single-launch rockets because they made space launches unduly expensive. As a result, they innovated and now use reusable rockets. [Two sentences]

5. Run-on (Comma splice)

Howsoever well we may live, we’ll not consider current period to be golden. Instead, we’ll long for the past. [Two sentences]

Howsoever well we may live, we’ll not consider current period to be golden; instead, we’ll long for the past. [Semicolon]

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