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Writing Centre Resource Guide

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Avoiding Comma Splices

COMMA SPLICE

Comma splices occur when two independent clauses (which could stand as separate sentences) are joined by a comma only.

Example:

Two independent clauses as separate sentences:

Comma splices are a significant grammatical error. I should avoid them. 

 

Incorrectly joining two independent clauses with only a comma (a comma splice):

Comma splices are a significant grammatical error, I should avoid them.

 

Correctly joining two independent clauses (avoiding comma splices):

1. Using a comma + a coordinating conjunction  (and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet)

Comma splices are a significant grammatical error, so I should avoid them.

2. Using a semi-colon

Comma splices are a significant grammatical error; I should avoid them.

Other Questions About Grammar?

More great tips for proper punctuation, grammar, and writing mechanics can be found at the Purdue OWL .

For interactive, online exercises check out Grammar Bytes.