Academic skills program student services and development

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Fragments, Run-Ons, Comma-Splices

Practice Exercises

Correct each of the following run-on and comma-splice sentences. Rewrite the corrected sentence(s) in the space provided.

  1. Shakespeare’s plays can be grouped as comedies, tragedies, and histories, Hamlet is a tragedy. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. There was food left over, however, everyone had plenty to eat. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  3. Some educated people believe in witchcraft, I am not one of them. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  4. The zoo is a wonderful experience for everyone, you should go. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  5. Mother got a letter from Aunt Esther, she is coming next week. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  6. Eric is a brave boy, he doesn’t complain about his illness. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  7. Mom voted for Jimmy Carter Dad voted for Gerald Ford. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  8. The Secretary of State arrived in Geneva, he was supposed to sign a treaty. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  9. Hepatitis is serious, you should see your doctor. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  10. I baked oatmeal cookies they had raisins in them, too. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  11. Mark Twain wrote Tom Sawyer, it is a funny book. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  12. The war lasted ten years many young men were killed. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  13. Our elm tree must be cut down, it has Dutch elm disease. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  14. I lost my brother’s catcher’s mitt, he’s going to be angry. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  15. I like the Tolkien books, next, I will read the whole trilogy. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  16. Tracy Austin is a good tennis player, she doesn’t win every game, though. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  17. I go to bed at 10:00 otherwise I can’t get up in the morning. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  18. Jerry is in the hospital, let’s visit him. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  19. We named out dog Toto, that’s the name of the dog in The Wizard of Oz. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  20. I can’t find my math book, I’ll have to clean out my locker. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  21. Tom Seaver was traded, I was surprised. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  22. My driver’s license was revoked I can’t drive to the game. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  23. Julie has a full-time job, she’ll have to go to night school. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Write “CS” in the blank beside each comma splice and “RO” in the blank beside each run-on sentence. Some sentences are correct. You may mark these as “C.”

  1. During rush hour the streets of Canton are full of bicycles, the buses travel slowly to avoid hitting them. ____

  1. Jennifer and Tony were high school students they quit school and got married. ____

  1. The night before my driver’s test I couldn’t eat or sleep, I was in a stupor. _____

  1. In the past, the computer could not do as many things as it can today. _____

  1. I wonder about the countryside, will it be replaced by large buildings and paved roads? ____

  1. The lake was frozen over, some boys had cleared a spot of ice and were playing hockey. _____

  1. My curiosity got the best of me I wanted to know what was happening. _____

  1. The street was covered by snow, the driving was dangerous. _______

  1. Time is money, therefore our time is limited. _____

  1. The basement was dark, a mouldy smell filled the air. _____

  1. There are hundreds of newspapers on the market, with all this variety for the readers there is still something missing. _____

  1. Technology has not solved our problems instead it has created new ones. _____

  1. We are still good friends, unfortunately we don’t go to the same school anymore, but we still get together. ____

  1. In law class we study about people’s rights, the richer the people are the more rights they have. ____

  1. Children with permissive parents seem to be wild and crazy. ____

  1. I have four roommates, some roommates are messy, others are too neat to live with. __

  1. Driving a car makes people lazy, for example when they have a vehicle they no longer walk anywhere. ____

  1. Our cedar hedge had been flattened there were tire marks across our lawn. ____

  1. The clock was ticking away with two minutes left in the game we were on our own five-yard line. ____

  1. Let’s imagine you are working for a strict and stingy boss, would you work diligently for this person? ____

  1. Finally we arrived at the hospital we checked into the birthing area. ____

  1. An old woman fell as she crossed the street, but the other New Yorkers near her kept walking; it was only when I offered a hand that she got back on her feet. ____

  1. All the arguments for stores opening on Sundays are unreasonable; the disadvantages clearly outweigh the advantages. ____

  1. In high school I had no respect for books, I wrote in them and ripped pages out for reference. ____

  1. Hail is nothing to be afraid of however, caution is always a good thing. ____

  1. The scene was horrible and unbelievable, people screamed and were helpless. ____

  1. If you see something suspicious, don’t hesitate call the police immediately. ____

  1. I couldn’t sleep that night, I was anxious for the next day so I could call her and ask her out. ____

  1. The cost of cleaning up acid rain is high; however, the benefits are great. ____

  1. I was blind and lost, I wanted to come out from the darkness, but I could not because there was no light to guide me. ____

  1. Our government cannot be trusted, this country functions as if parliament did not exist. ____

  1. On April 27 of each year since the accident, I have held a party to celebrate being alive. ____

  1. I swung around to catch a guy charging at me I grabbed him and threw him to the ground. ____

  1. I never inherit money from a rich uncle it is always the person next door who has all the luck. ____

  1. Finally everything was done, the dentist gave me a cup of water to rinse the blood from my mouth. ____

  1. A book is just like an old friend whenever we need it, the only thing to do is consult it. ____

  1. Our mother could not afford to feed all the children; therefore, she decided it would be in our best interests to place us with the Children’s Aid Society. ____

  1. Health problems that come with age are often caused by lack of exercise therefore, it is important to provide exercise to all areas of the body. ____

  1. In today’s modern industrialized world, we can have a wonderful material life, money can seem to buy everything we want, but our heart still lacks something. ____

  1. A child who feels secure at home will develop a positive character; for example, a child who is loved at home will automatically show love to others. ____

Complete Sentences vs. Fragments

Some of the sentences below are complete, but some are sentence fragments. Mark an “s” on the blank after the complete sentences and an “f” after the fragments.
Example: the grass, which had grown tall. _f__

  1. Kathy was studying for her test. ___

  1. Through the breezeway and into the garage. ___

  1. Threw the newspaper onto the ground. ___

  1. The water was warmed by the sun. ___

  1. The symphony, which the orchestra played. ___

Some of the items below are fragments, and some are run-ons. Rewrite, forming complete and correct sentences.
Example: Since he was so hungry, he stopped for dinner.

  1. The dog came into our yard. Through the bushes. ______________________________________________________________________

  1. Dad needs a haircut, he will go to the barber on First Street. ______________________________________________________________________

  1. The most expensive hotel in Boston. ______________________________________________________________________

  1. The gas tank was full. Ready for the trip. ______________________________________________________________________

  1. The children played together, their parents chatted. ______________________________________________________________________

  1. Getting an after-school job is important. Because I need the money. ______________________________________________________________________

  1. The dance was fun, everyone had a good time. ______________________________________________________________________

  1. The only problem was the band, it was too loud. ______________________________________________________________________

  1. After the tardy bell rang. ______________________________________________________________________

  1. I am expecting a letter, is the mail here yet? ______________________________________________________________________

Which of the following are complete sentences?

  1. One more traditional area which attracted thousands.

  2. The literary canon of American classics of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is composed almost exclusively of works by male writers.

  3. Yet, given this myth.

  4. Sixteen years, an acceptable length of time.

  5. I selected ten articles that analyzed the effects of lithium carbonate.

Some of these sentences have comma splices; correct them.

  1. The combination of lithium carbonate and imipramine is less effective than lithium carbonate alone, and more people suffered side effects from it.

  2. As paleobotanists pursue their search for fossil flowers, they encounter technical difficulties.

  3. Jayce and Den found the assignment quite difficult at first, they felt fairly satisfied with their second effort.

  4. There is a problem with these predictions, they don’t tell us anything useful.

  5. Her motorcycle stalled, after the exit, it started again.

Correct the following paragraph.

This kind of treatment is not limited to poultry, pigs are now also being reared in cages inside sheds. These animals are comparable to dogs in intelligence, and they need a varied, stimulating environment if they are not to suffer from stress and boredom. Any who kept a dog in the way in which pigs are frequently kept would be liable to prosecution, in England at least, because our interest in exploiting pigs is greater than our interest in exploiting dogs, we object to cruelty to dogs while consuming the produce of cruelty to pigs. Of the other animals, the condition of veal calves is perhaps worst of all, these animals are so closely confined that they cannot even turn around or get up and lie down freely. In this way, they do not develop unpalatable muscle, they are also made anaemic and kept short of roughage, to keep their flesh pale, since white veal fetches a higher price, as a result they develop a craving for iron and roughage, and have been observed to gnaw wood off the sides of their stalls, they lick greedily at any rusty hinge that is within reach. (from Peter Singer, “All Animals are Equal”, slightly modified).

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