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Comma Splice

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The comma splice is a common error, but it is an error that is easy to identify and fix. A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses (clauses that could be sentences on their own) are jammed together with a comma.

Here are a few examples:

  • The chair is ugly, its fabric is tattered and worn.
  • My dog is a constant companion, he sleeps on my bed.
  • My mom is coming home soon, I should finish my homework.
  • I never eat early in the morning, I like to eat a late breakfast.

It is easy to see that each of the clauses (on either side of the comma) could stand alone as a sentence.

Fixing a Comma Splice

So how can you fix each sentence above? You must do one of two things: either separate the clauses completely into two sentences or join the sides together with an appropriate connector.

You could use a semicolon or a word as a connector:

  • The chair is ugly and its fabric is tattered and worn.
  • The chair is ugly; its fabric is tattered and worn.
  • My dog is a constant companion and he sleeps on my bed.
  • My dog is a constant companion; he sleeps on my bed.
  • My mom is coming home soon, so I should finish my homework.
  • My mom is coming home soon; I should finish my homework.
  • I never eat early in the morning, but I like to eat a late breakfast.
  • I never eat early in the morning; I like to eat a late breakfast.

If you don’t like the options above, simply split the clauses into two sentences.

  • The chair is ugly! Its fabric is tattered and worn.
  • My dog is a constant companion. He sleeps on my bed.
  • My mom is coming home soon? I should finish my homework.
  • I never eat early in the morning. I like to eat a late breakfast.

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