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Sentence Problems

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Sentences are made when we string words together to convey a complete thought. There are some types of sentence errors that occur more frequently than others. It's important to know the most common types of errors and to avoid them in your writing.

1. The Comma Splice

Some say the comma splice is the most common type of sentence error, but that should be good news for you! The comma splice 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.

2. Rambling Sentences

Rambling or run-on sentences are sentences that contain several clauses connected by coordinating conjunctions such as: and, or, but, yet, for, nor, and so. A rambling sentence may appear to follow the technical rules of grammar in places, but the sentence as a whole is wrong because it rambles.

3. Sentences That Are Not Parallel

One portion of the SAT writing test requires students to find and improve poorly-written sentences. It’s important for students to know what problems appear frequently within these sentences, in order to improve their chances of scoring well. One common sentence problem involves non-parallel structure.

4. Sentence Fragments

A sentence fragment is a statement that cannot stand alone as a sentence, even though it might look like it should be able to. A sentence fragment may be lacking a subject, a verb, or both. It might even contain words that look like subjects and verbs.
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