Comma Splices

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English I EOC AssessmentCommas
Grammar & PunctuationPunctuation
LanguageEnglish Language
PunctuationCommas

Transcript

00:28

splice. A comma splice occurs when a comma is used

00:32

to put two independent clauses without a conjunction… together.

00:37

The independent clauses “She knows how to make a mean latte”…

00:40

…and “She can also solve basic math problems”…

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…are actually two separate sentences. They don’t need a comma to join them…

00:47

…which is why the sentence “She knows how to make a mean latte…comma…she also

00:49

can solve basic math problems”, is grammatically incorrect.

00:52

Comma splices are very easy to fix. Say we have the grammatically messed-up sentence,

00:58

“Sundance went to the park…comma…she gave tax advice to the other dogs.”

01:04

If we nix the comma for a period, so that we have two sentences…

01:08

…“Sundance went to the park…period”…

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…and “She gave tax advice to the other dogs…period”…

01:13

…then our comma splice problem is solved. There’s another way to fix a comma splice.

01:22

If the two independent clauses in a spliced sentence are closely related to each other…

01:27

…then we can ditch the comma, not for a period, but for a semicolon…

01:32

…because the purpose of a semicolon is to bring two complete sentences together when

01:35

no coordinating conjunction is present. So, for example, say we have a comma-spliced

01:41

sentence like, “Sundance’s owner makes Sundance breakfast every morning…comma…the

01:46

dog likes her eggs scrambled.”

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The two independent clauses in this sentence deal with the same subject: Sundance’s breakfast.

01:56

If we replace the comma in this sentence with a semicolon, we end up with, “Sundance’s

02:00

owner makes Sundance breakfast every morning…semicolon…the dog likes her eggs scrambled.”

02:06

The comma splice is gone, replaced with an artfully deployed semicolon.

02:12

Or what if we have the comma-spliced sentence, “Sundance likes long walks on the beach…comma…she

02:18

always searches for seashells to add to her collection.”

02:20

Again, we have two independent clauses that are closely related to each other.

02:26

If we replace the comma in this sentence with a semicolon, we get, “Sundance likes long

02:31

walks on the beach…semicolon…she always searches for seashells to add to her collection.”

02:36

The comma splice is no more, eradicated by the grammatically correct semicolon.

02:44

Comma splices are easy to avoid. If a sentence contains two independent clauses…

02:48

…but has no conjunction to bring the clauses together…

02:51

…then a period or a semicolon is needed, not a comma.

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Now, Sundance would like to know how we take our coffee. And would we care for a biscuit?