Writing | Commas, Fragments, Run-Ons, and Comma Splice

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What is this episode about?

Learn about how to use commas in sentences, sentence fragments, run-on sentences and comma splice in this writing episode from English Plus Podcast.

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Show Notes

Disclaimer

I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.

Transcript

Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. Today’s episode is about trialing, but today we’re not going to talk about writing paragraphs or essays. We are going to talk about some writing grammar. Last time we talked about the topic sentence, but today we will talk about essential things you need to know about the grammar of sentences.

[00:00:30] Like commas. Sentence fragment run-on sentences and comma splice, because these things will help you write full and correct sentences. And that is an essential skill, not only for writing, but also to write a perfect topic sentence. So without further ado, Let’s start with our very first point. And that is to talk about commerce.

[00:00:53] What do we use commerce for a commerce separates a list of three or more things. For example, if we say I speak English, Spanish and Japanese, he, we have three things. Of course we can say more, but here because we have three things or more, we can separate them by commas. We can say I speak English, comma, Spanish, and Japanese.

[00:01:18] And we can use a comma to separate two sentences when there is a combining word. Like, and, or, but for example, we can say, I speak three languages, but Adams speaks five and here, because we have this combining word and we combine two separate sentences. We separate them by a comma. So we say, I speak three languages, comma, but Adam speaks five.

[00:01:47] A comma separates an introductory word or phrase from the rest of the sentence. For example, we say first you will need to get a pencil. So this first is an introductory word. And of course there are a lot of introductory words and we will talk about them in other episodes because these introductory words are used for specific purposes, but this is a very famous introductory word first.

[00:02:15] And when we use it in a sentence, we use a comma to separate this introductory word from the rest of the sentence. So we say first comma. You will need to get a pencil. What else do we use commas for a comma separates, a dependent clause that comes at the beginning of the sentence. For example, when we say, because I speak three languages, I can communicate with many people.

[00:02:41] So here, because I speak three languages. Is a dependent clause and therefore we separated with a comma. So we say, because I speak three languages, comma, I can communicate with many people. What else do we use commas for a comma separates and a positive from the rest of the sentence. And you might be wondering what is in a positive.

[00:03:03] Well, and a positive is a group of words that renames or explains the noun before it. So you have seen it a lot, but you might not have known that this is called a positive. I will give you an example, fiber, a substance that is important in limiting certain types of cancer is found in popcorn. So here, the original sentence is fiber is found in popcorn.

[00:03:27] That’s all. But here I added this a positive because I want to explain about this word, which is fiber fiber comma, a substance that is important in limiting certain types of cancer. Comma is found in popcorn. So there is another use of commerce and commerce can separate extra information that is provided in adjective clauses.

[00:03:52] For example, the history of Korea, which is on the teacher’s desk. Is the book for the course. Now here. Think about it. The original sentence is the history of Korea is the book for the course, but here I use an adjective clause and that is, which is on the teacher’s desk. And that is extra information. The sentence can do without this extra information.

[00:04:17] And because it is an adjective clause and it is extra information, we separated. By commerce. So here we say, the history of Korea comma, which is on the teacher’s desk. Comma is the book for the course. So that was about commerce. I hope you found that useful. Now we will move on to talk about sentence fragments.

[00:04:37] Run-on sentences and commas applies. But before we do that, let me remind you that there is a link you can find in the description that will take you to our website, English plus podcast.com. There you will find everything you need to practice. The things we’re talking about. There is a PDF practice worksheet that you can download and practice.

[00:04:56] And of course the answer key is there so that you can check your answers. There’s also a video that you can watch these things, if you like, and the show notes are there as well. So. This is an example. For every single episode, we have a special post for that episode. That includes all the means necessary for you to practice what you’re learning here in English plus podcasts.

[00:05:19] So take the link and improve your English. Do not risk for getting the information we’re talking about. And you can do that by practicing what we’re learning. And we’ve got you covered. Everything is ready for you. Just take the link, you’ll find everything you need. And if you like the content we’re creating and you would like to support us to create more of that content, there’s also a link that will take you to Patreon, where you can go there, become our patron and support us to create more of the content you love.

[00:05:46] And now let’s go back to our episode and let’s talk about three common sentence problems, and we will start with the sentence fragment. Now, what is a sentence fragment sentence? Fragment is not a complete sentence. It is usually missing either a subject or a verb. Or it is a dependent clause and a dependent clause is never a complete sentence.

[00:06:09] Now, of course, that’s all fine, but how do we fix it? Well, if we can identify a sentence fragment, how do we fix the sentence? Well, to correct a sentence fragment, we usually add a subject or verb, or we combine the two clauses. Now let’s take a look at this example. I went to Italy last summer period. Was a wonderful trip period.

[00:06:31] So what we have here looks like two sentences, but actually they’re not because yes, the first part I went to Italy last summer is a full sentence, but the second part is not, was a wonderful trip. That’s not complete. That is a sentence fragment. So we need to fix that. We can fix that by adding a subject.

[00:06:50] And we can say, I went to Italy last summer period. It was a wonderful trip. It was now we have a subject. So we have a full sentence, not a sentence fragment. Let’s take a look at another example. Only 120 students majored in art period because they are worried about job opportunities. Period. So here we have a sentence fragment because they are worried about job opportunities.

[00:07:16] That is a dependent clause and dependent clauses can never be full sentences. They have to be attached to another clause to make a full sentence. So to fix that. We can combine the closest together. And instead of having what looks like two sentences, we have one and it becomes only 120 students majored in art because they are worried about job opportunities, period.

[00:07:42] And that is one sentence with two clauses. So that was about sentence fragment. And that was the first common sentence error. The second most common sentence error is run-on sentences. Now a run-on sentence. Is two sentences incorrectly joined without a comma or a coordinating conjunction and coordinating conjunctions are and, or, but so yet, nor or for now to correct a run-on sentence.

[00:08:10] What do we do? We either add a comma and a connecting word, or we separate the sentences into two with a period. Both fixes are fine, but what we cannot do is leave a run on sentence as it is. Now let’s take a look at this example. This example is written as if it were one sentence. There’s only one period at the end and it goes like I went to Italy and so Rome, I didn’t get to see Milan here.

[00:08:37] The problem is that we do have two sentences here. I went to Italy and so Rome that’s one sentence. I didn’t get to see Milan. And that’s the second sentence, but we cannot just put them together and consider them one sentence. We have to separate them or join them with a connecting word. So we can go with adding a comma and a connecting word, and we can say, I went to Italy.

[00:09:01] And so Rome. But I didn’t get to see him alone. And that is correct here. After Rome, we put a comma and, but I didn’t get to see Milan. Yes, it is now one sentence, but it is okay because we have a comma and a connecting word, or we can simply separate them into two sentences. I went to Italy and so Rome period.

[00:09:23] I didn’t get to see Milan period. These are two sentences. I’m not saying here, which is better. We will talk more about how we can link our sentences together to make our paragraphs and writing in general, more cohesive. But for now, we’re just talking about it as writing grammar. So that was about run-on sentences and the final, common sentence error that we have for this episode, that is the comma splice.

[00:09:49] What is a comma splice, a comma splice occurs when two or more sentences or independent clauses are connected with a comma. And that is just the opposite because here, the problem is we cannot just put a comma and consider these two independent clauses or sentences as one. Now, how can we correct the comma splice?

[00:10:11] We can add a connecting word after the comma, or we can create two sentences from the one, or we can combine the most important words from the two sentences into one sentence and add a subordinating conjunction. Like, because since, or although. Now let’s take a look at some examples and understand better how the fixes go.

[00:10:33] Now, for example, the first sentence goes like I went to Italy last summer comma. It was a wonderful trip. And here, the problem is obvious. We have a comma splice. Now a comma here is not sufficient. To join the sentences together by just putting a comma, we cannot join two sentences together, just like that.

[00:10:52] We can do that by adding a word, adding a connecting word. That would be fine. But here we can either go by adding this connecting word. For example, we can say I went to Italy last summer comma, and it was a wonderful trip. That’s fine. Because now we have a connecting word or we can create two sentences.

[00:11:11] I went to Italy last summer period. Not comma. And the second sentence. It was a wonderful trip. Another example, only 120 students majored in art because they are worried about job opportunities. And here, the problem is that I just joined these parts with a comma. I said only 120 students majored in art comma because they are worried about job opportunities.

[00:11:37] And that is not the way to go. If we want to join them together, we can consider because as a subordinating conjunction and get rid of the comma. So we say only 120 students majored in art because they are worried about job opportunities with no comma. And that is the way to go. Or we can say, because they are worried about job opportunities, comma only 120 students majored in art.

[00:12:04] And here we added a subordinate conjunction, which is because, but because we start with it, we can separate the two parts with a comma. So with that being said, that’ll be everything I wanted to share with you today about writing grammar. We talked about commas, how we use them in sentences. We talked about sentence fragments, run-on sentences and comma splice.

[00:12:26] And as I told you, Maybe, yes, this is grammar. This is not writing as we used to do it, but it is very important because we’re going to build on what we learned last time about the topic sentence and start developing the paragraphs. And later of course, essays, and we will need to write a lot of sentences.

[00:12:43] So it is a very good idea to learn how to write a proper sentence and to make sure we don’t fall for these common traps. These common sentence errors. Now, with that being said, I cannot stress enough that it is very important to practice. If you want to make sure you understand everything and you get the most of English plus podcasts, and we made that very easy by providing everything you need in a post on our website, English plus podcast.com.

[00:13:11] The link is in the description. Take the link, make the best of your English, improve your English with us. And there’s no telling where you can go from there. Now that being said, this is your host, Danny. Thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. I will see you next time.

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