Comma Splices


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  • Independent clauses require punctuation that is stronger than a comma.
  • We cannot talk about comma splices unless you can distinguish between dependent and independent clauses.
  • The main point here is that an independent clause is a complete idea that can stand alone.
  • Notice that dependent and independent clauses both have a subject and a verb. This can cause the confusion.
  • Punctuation helps the reader flow through your writing easier.
  • The acronym “FANBOYS” is a mnemonic device used to help remember the coordinating conjunctions.
  • Revise comma splices one of these three ways depending on the nature of your clauses.
  • A semicolon is like a period and a comma combined. Like a period, it punctuates 2 independent clauses; like a comma it is not a full stop, so the clauses are still connected.
  • We can provide helpful handouts on Useful Transitions and how to punctuate when Combining Clauses. Note that a conjunctive adverb is the same as an adverbial conjunction.
  • Revise with a semicolon alone or with a semicolon-conjunctive adverb-comma combination.
  • Connecting words allow for continuity between clauses when you don’t want to separate them with a period.
  • Use a period to make the individual statements stand out more.
  • Use any of the three techniques to correct the comma splice.
  • Comma Splices

    1. 1. Comma SplicesIs it a crime to commit comma splices?
    2. 2. What is a comma splice? A comma splice is a type of run-on sentence. – a writer joins together two independent clauses, using only a comma as punctuation between them.
    3. 3. Clauses: Dependent vs. Independent ?
    4. 4. Independent Clausea sentence that can stand alone.Example: The sun shines brightly.INDEPENDENTCLAUSE= SUBJECT + VERB
    5. 5. Dependent ClauseA dependent clause is a phrase that cannot stand alone. – dependent upon another clause to form a complete sentence. – has a subject and a verb. Example: The sun shining brightly. – The verb form …a participial phrase… makes this dependent.
    6. 6. Why do we even need commas? Commas are a signal to the reader… – sort of a road map… – tells the reader when to pause… – not a full stop, like a period.
    7. 7. Coordinating Conjunctions Coordinating conjunctions “FANBOYS” – A remedy for comma splices.
    8. 8. Curing Comma SplicesReplace the comma with a semicolonUse a FAN BOYS after the commaReplace the comma with a period.
    9. 9. SemicolonsUse a semicolon to link together independent clauses. – provides a stronger separation than a comma – not a full stop like a period. SEMICOLONINDEPENDENT INDEPENDENTCLAUSE ; CLAUSE
    10. 10. Semicolons and more Semicolons may be used alone or with a conjunctive adverb or transitional phrase. SEMICOLON +INDEPENDENT CONJUNCTIVE INDEPENDENTCLAUSE ADVERB + CLAUSE COMMA
    11. 11. Revise with a semicolon Using commas is fun, using semicolons can be fun, too. = COMMA SPLICE REVISION Using commas is fun; using semicolons can be fun, too. OR Using commas is fun; however, using semicolons can be fun, too. ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
    12. 12. Revise with “FANBOYS”I don’t want to completely separate these independent clauses, I can use one of the FANBOYS. = COMMA SPLICEREVISION I don’t want to completely separate these independent clauses, so I can use one of the FANBOYS.
    13. 13. Revise with a period I want this statement to stand out, I will use a period to separate these independent clauses. = COMMA SPLICE REVISION I want this statement to stand out. I will use a period to separate these independent clauses. . . . . . . . . . .
    14. 14. Your Turn No, it is not a crime to commit a comma splice, it is an intellectual infraction. = COMMA SPLICE Revise the above comma splice by using one of the three options: 1) semicolon 2) coordinating conjunction (FANBOYS) 3) period
    15. 15. Don’t get caught with comma splicesRemember your options:Join with a semicolon;Connect with a conjunction, orSeparate with a period.
    16. 16. Are committing commasplices a crime?Yes!-4 points!