Comma Splices

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

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.

Enjoyed this article?

Please help us spread the word:

Latest from ' Spelling and Punctuation'

400 words with silent letters, arranged by level Read More »