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Comma Splice

When two complete sentences are joined by a comma, and there is no conjunction present, we get a comma splice.

Incorrect: She decided not to contribute to the project anymore, she had done her share of the work.

Correcting the Problem

These are closely related sentences, but each of them completes a thought; therefore, they either need a period, a semicolon, or a comma with a conjunction between them.

Rule to Remember

A comma splice occurs when two complete sentences are joined by a comma, and there is no conjunction present.

Correct: She decided not to contribute to the project anymore. She had done her share of the work.
Correct: She decided not to contribute to the project anymore; she had done her share of the work.

Comma splices can be avoided by using

- a period between two complete sentences

Incorrect: A Minneapolis bridge collapsed last night, several people were reported missing.
Correct: A Minneapolis bridge collapsed last night. Several people were reported missing.

- a semicolon between two complete sentences

Incorrect: I got up late this morning, I missed my interview. I was having a terrible day!
Correct: I got up late this morning; I missed my interview. I was having a terrible day!

- a conjunction (either coordinating or subordinating)

Incorrect: I am going out of town tomorrow, need to visit my grandmother.
Correct: I am going out of town tomorrow because I need to visit my grandmother.

Rule to Remember

A comma splice can be corrected with:
- a period;
- a semicolon;
- a conjunction;
- a semicolon and a transitional word.

- a semicolon and a transitional word followed by a comma

Incorrect: Our team completed the group project, haven't submitted it yet.
Correct: Our team completed the group project; however, we haven't submitted it yet.
Correct: Our team completed the group project. However, we haven't submitted it yet.

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