The story of the run-on sentence: When to use a comma. The #1 most common grammatical error #writinglegally

Posted on 07-15-2015 by
Tags: writinglegally , legal writing , Upgrading Your Skills , #writinglegally

For anyone who hasn’t been following my posts, during the last few weeks I have listed out the 5 most common grammatical errors. My goal for these posts was simple – identify some of the most common grammatical errors to help improve writing. I always find that when you know which errors to look for, it's easier to act as your own editor.

Now we are down to the #1 error – run-on sentences. According to YourDictionary.com, a run-on sentence is a common mistake of writers, and occurs when you put two ideas together with no punctuation between them or only a comma.  

Fixing a run-on sentence or a comma splice can be accomplished in one of five different ways:

  • Separate the clauses into two sentences.
  • Replace the comma with a semi-colon.
  • Replace the comma with a coordinating conjunction--and, but, for, yet, nor, so.
  • Replace the comma with a subordinating conjunction--after, although, before, unless, as, because, even though, if, since, until, when, while.
  • Replace the comma with a semi-colon and transitional word--however, moreover, on the other hand, nevertheless, instead, also, therefore, consequently, otherwise, as a result.

As an incorrect example:

  • Rachel is very smart, she began reading when she was three years old.

And 5 correct examples:

  • Rachel is very smart. She began reading when she was three years old.
  • Rachel is very smart; she began reading when she was three years old.
  • Rachel is very smart, and she began reading when she was three years old.
  • Because Rachel is very smart, she began reading when she was three years old.
  • Rachel is very smart; as a result, she began reading when she was three years old.

There you have it, the 5 most common grammatical errors. If you are interested in my other posts, feel free to check them out.

 The above article was written using information from the article 5 Most Common Grammatical Errors via YourDictionary.com.

To the LexTalk community, do you have other suggestions about writing errors that you would like to share with the rest of the community?

 

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