Why is it Important to Identify and Correct Comma Splices


Example of a Comma Splice: 

I finished my homework, the teacher hasn’t corrected it.



Basic Definitions 

An independent clause is a group of words that are able to stand on their own as a whole sentence. The group of words must have both a verb and subject to be considered an independent clause. “I finished my homework” would be an independent clause where ‘I’ is the subject and ‘finished’ is the verb.


A conjunction is a term used for a joining word. It refers to words like ‘but’ and ‘and’ that will allow for more complex sentences to be built out of ones that are simple.



How Comma Splices Are Fixed

There are four simple ways to fix a comma splice issue. It’s recommended that you look at every comma splice in your piece as an opportunity to master building complex sentence structures out of simple sentences.



Use a Period

The easiest way to fix a comma splice issue is to simply separate the two sentences. All you have to do is to put a period in place of the comma. Be aware that doing this may make the sentences sound abrupt, however, they will still be grammatically correct.


I finished my homework. The teacher hasn’t corrected it.



Use a Semi-Colon

 If you want another simple solution to a comma splice sentence then you can use a semi-colon in order to encapsulate two sentences into one.


I finished my homework; the teacher hasn’t corrected it.


Keep in mind that you should only use a semi-colon when there is a logical connection between the independent clauses and the ideas of the two clauses are related.



Utilize a Coordinating Conjunction

A conjunction lets you combine two ideas into one sentence. However, it also has the advantage of letting you indicate that there is a logical relationship between both ideas. For instance, the coordinating conjunction ‘but’ shows that there is a sense of contradiction or unexpectedness.


I finished my homework, but the teacher hasn’t corrected it.


There are seven coordinating conjunctions:

For, or, nor, but, and, yet, so.



Utilize a Subordinating Conjunction 

This conjunction is similar to coordinating conjunctions in the way that they let you indicate that there is a relationship between both independent clauses. However, subordinating conjunctions let you put an equal amount of stress on the two parts of the sentence.


Although I finished my homework, the teacher hasn’t corrected it.


There are many subordinating conjunctions, but a few are:

Although, because, since, if, whether, unless, why, when, after, before, as.



Read Your Writing Out Loud

It’s impossible to stress enough how important it is to read your writing out loud. It doesn’t require you to have an audience; all you have to do is listen to yourself read. This will allow you to find any phrases or sentences that are not written correctly, as you’ll likely stumble over them. Ensure that your writing flows and doesn’t sound choppy, which can happen if you have too many of the same types of sentences.



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Cameron Mackey

Cameron is the Content Manager for the Vorongo Blog. He has spent three years in various content marketing roles. When he is not working with Vorongo he enjoys photography and hiking.

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