English Learner Article Comma Splices

Summary: What is a comma splice and how can it be avoided?

By: |Audience: All|Category: Punctuation


Where a sentence has two parts that could stand alone as sentences, with only a comma to separate them, it is a comma splice:

  • I went outside, I needed a break.

The two parts here are both complete sentences and should not be joined by a comma. There are three basic ways of avoiding this:

  1. Write them as two independent sentences: I went outside. I needed a break. (However, using this too often can make the writing rather choppy if there are too many short sentences.)
  2. Separate them with a semi-colon: I went outside; I needed a break.
  3. Use a conjunction: I went outside because I needed a break.
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