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|English I EOC Assessment||Commas|
|Grammar & Punctuation||Punctuation|
splice. A comma splice occurs when a comma is used
to put two independent clauses without a conjunction… together.
The independent clauses “She knows how to make a mean latte”…
…and “She can also solve basic math problems”…
…are actually two separate sentences. They don’t need a comma to join them…
…which is why the sentence “She knows how to make a mean latte…comma…she also
can solve basic math problems”, is grammatically incorrect.
Comma splices are very easy to fix. Say we have the grammatically messed-up sentence,
“Sundance went to the park…comma…she gave tax advice to the other dogs.”
If we nix the comma for a period, so that we have two sentences…
…“Sundance went to the park…period”…
…and “She gave tax advice to the other dogs…period”…
…then our comma splice problem is solved. There’s another way to fix a comma splice.
If the two independent clauses in a spliced sentence are closely related to each other…
…then we can ditch the comma, not for a period, but for a semicolon…
…because the purpose of a semicolon is to bring two complete sentences together when
no coordinating conjunction is present. So, for example, say we have a comma-spliced
sentence like, “Sundance’s owner makes Sundance breakfast every morning…comma…the
dog likes her eggs scrambled.”
The two independent clauses in this sentence deal with the same subject: Sundance’s breakfast.
If we replace the comma in this sentence with a semicolon, we end up with, “Sundance’s
owner makes Sundance breakfast every morning…semicolon…the dog likes her eggs scrambled.”
The comma splice is gone, replaced with an artfully deployed semicolon.
Or what if we have the comma-spliced sentence, “Sundance likes long walks on the beach…comma…she
always searches for seashells to add to her collection.”
Again, we have two independent clauses that are closely related to each other.
If we replace the comma in this sentence with a semicolon, we get, “Sundance likes long
walks on the beach…semicolon…she always searches for seashells to add to her collection.”
The comma splice is no more, eradicated by the grammatically correct semicolon.
Comma splices are easy to avoid. If a sentence contains two independent clauses…
…but has no conjunction to bring the clauses together…
…then a period or a semicolon is needed, not a comma.
Now, Sundance would like to know how we take our coffee. And would we care for a biscuit?