The Attack of the Run on Sentences
1. Read all this information before you begin.
2. Examine each line and decide if it is a complete sentence (an independent clause) or only
part of a sentence (a dependent clause). Place an I or a D on the left of each sentences.
3. Go back to the each line and add a suitable piece of punctuation. You will need to put in
some capital letters as punctuate this piece. Every line needs either a conjunction of a piece
of punctuation at the end.
a. A comma joins a dependant clause to a main clause.
b. To end a sentence you can use a full stop, an exclamation mark, a question mark or
c. To join one independent clause to another, use either a conjunction or a semi-colon.
Common conjunctions include “and”, “because”, “while” and “as”. There are heaps
more. Only join together closely related ideas.
although it was freezing cold outside
I decided to go for a ride
fumbling in the dark
I turned on both lights on my bike
once the garage door was open
I rode into the quiet street
all the houses were dark
no-one was awake but me
once I’d turned onto the track by the creek
I picked up a bit of speed
because the curves were gentle and the track was flat
the first two kilometres of my ride were dead easy
out of the dark
two rabbits ran across my path
I tapped the brakes
my bike shuddered violently
like a machine about to break
I kept riding
it takes more than two rabbits to slow me down
when I was almost home
I saw it
running across the park in the morning light
I saw the owner yelling
I saw it running towards me
it was a runaway sentence
it was heading straight for me
without a moment to think
I hit both brakes
as hard as I could
my bike stopped
I didn’t stop
flying straight over the handlebars
I hit the ground
the sentence ran straight over me
battered and confused
it ran on
wild and undisciplined
I got back on my bike
scratched but still working
I rode home
The Final Step: Now, go back and put a box around each sentence. Then write next to it how
many independent clauses are in each box. If you have avoided run on sentences, it will be
either one or two in each sentence.