Comma Splices

 
Do you know why comma splices are at least better than run-ons? At least the writer knows a comma must separate two subject/verb pairs to avoid confusion.

Comma splices occur when we combine 2 separate subject/verb combinations with ONLY a comma, but both a comma AND a conjunction, or connecting word, are required. 

EXAMPLE's: 

I was late for the rehearsal, everyone was upset with me. 
I was speeding down Weber Road, the police officer issued a citation.
I bought champagne to celebrate, my wife dropped the bottle on the sidewalk.
There are a variety of ways to repair comma splices. In the examples I give, subordination provides a solution (subordinate means dependent upon -- a subordinate clause depends on a main clause for completion -- you'll see that I italicized the subordinate clauses below -- also note that if a subordinate, or dependent clause as it is sometimes called, opens a sentence, it must be followed with a comma before the main clause): 
Because I was late for the rehearsal, everyone was upset with me.
The police officer issued a citation because I was speeding down Weber Road.
When I bought champagne to celebrate, my wife dropped the bottle on the sidewalk.
I could also use coordination as a means of patching the comma splice: 
I was late for the rehearsal, so everyone was upset with me. 
I was speeding down Weber Road, and the police officer issued a citation.
I bought champagne to celebrate, but my wife dropped the bottle on the sidewalk.
To catch subject/verb combinations, just sweep through a draft looking for nouns  used as subjects. Are they nouns that are the who or what of a clause? As for the verb, that's what a clause SAYS about a noun subject. 

Still another way to correct a comma splice is to join the 2 sentences with a semicolon (about the only 2 reasons we use semicolons is for compound sentences or to separate items in a series which themselves have commas.

I was late for the rehearsal; everyone was upset with me. 
I was speeding down Weber Road; the police officer issued a citation.
I bought champagne to celebrate; my wife dropped the bottle on the   sidewalk.
What do you think flows more smoothly? Using subordination, or semicolons?

Still another way to correct a comma splice is just make two sentences out of them. 

I was late for the rehearsal. Everyone was upset with me. 
I was speeding down Weber Road. The police officer issued a citation.
I bought champagne to celebrate. My wife dropped the bottle on the   sidewallk.
Does that last method seem to make things pretty choppy? Please answer yes!

So the two better methods are to either use subordination or coordination. 
 

 

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