Lesson Plan - Get It!
- Have you ever noticed how authors join two ideas together?
- Do you know how you can easily connect two sentences?
Don't let that little comma slip into the wrong place. Learn to avoid the dreaded comma splice to be a better writer!
Read the following sentences about food.
My favorite food is lasagna, and I eat it often. When we go to a restaurant, I always order a salad, a small piece of lasagna, and a piece of tiramisu. I'm happy; my need for Italian food is satisfied!
Now, look at the following examples of commas used to join sentences.
My family likes to walk after we eat, we sometimes walk to the park.
Last night we watched a football game, my team lost.
- Do you think the use of commas is correct? Why or why not?
The sentences above show a comma splice, the incorrect use of a comma, to join two sentences together.
A comma should not be used to separate two independent clauses unless a coordinating conjunction is also used.
To correct the sentences above, add a conjunction along with the comma.
My family likes to walk after we eat, and we sometimes walk to the park.
Last night we watched a football game, and my team lost.
Adding a coordinating conjunction following the comma is one way to correct a comma splice, but there are other ways to correct a poorly-placed comma.
Check out these other solutions to the unwanted comma splice.
Separate each sentence into two separate sentences.
My family likes to walk after we eat. We sometimes walk to the park.
Last night we watched a football game. My team lost.
If the sentences are closely related, they may be joined by a semicolon.
My family likes to walk after we eat; sometimes, we walk to the park.
Last night we watched the football game; my team lost.
Rewrite your sentence! You might use a part of speech called a subordinating conjunction.
After we eat dinner, my family likes to walk, and sometimes, we walk to the park.
Last night, we watched the football game while my team lost.
Watch the video below for additional explanations and examples.
Continue on to the Got It? section to police some sentences for the comma splice!