Watch Out for the Run-On

Margie Wakeman Wells General, The Period Leave a Comment

Remember that, even though there are little short sentences, they are still sentences if they have their own subject and verb and can stand alone. Punctuating them with a comma creates a run-on.

…That’s right. He was long overdue for the visit.
…Let’s see. I think it was May.
…He’s an adult. He needs to get a job.

…He works on Saturdays during the school year. He is not available.
…We mailed them out on a Monday. It was fine.
…She may have wanted more than that. I don’t know.

Would these be good places for a semicolon? No. The semicolon works only when the ideas are really closely related or the construction is parallel.

…He is at home; he is not at work.
…She likes to read; he likes to fish.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

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