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Adrian’s Easy Grammar Tips: COMMA SPLICE–New Sentence

Hello and Happy Easy Grammar Tips Wednesday!

Adrian J. Smith is a writer and editor who has a not-so-secret love of grammar. She’s always happy to provide useful grammar tips to help writers understand and remember some of those pesky writing rules that can trip us up.

Let’s bring on this week’s grammar tip!

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA SPLICE–New Sentence

Our new grammatical issue to look at, for the next fews weeks or so, is the comma splice. Are you ready? This one has been the bane of my existence since my early college years. My prof would go through and take a red marker to ALL my comma splices, and let me tell you, that was a lot. I stopped using commas after that for years!


Commas are a crazy thing to try and learn. Commonly, when in the process of learning how to punctuate commas and add them in, one learns to add them where they should not be.  Typically, one of these places is called a comma splice.  This is where there are two independent clauses smooshed together into one sentence only by a comma.  Now, commas are powerful things, don’t get me wrong. They’re like the dukes and duchesses of grammar.  But they do not belong in the chamber of the compound sentence.

Comma splices are typically hard to find, because there is still a natural pause in the sentence.  However, comma splices can easily become the bane of someone’s existence (a.k.a me for the past five or six years).

Here are some examples of comma splices.

1. “I kissed a girl, I liked it.”

2. She didn’t know what to say, she was stunned into silence.

3. “I didn’t know you could do that, you can do that?”

4. Adrian is writing a forum on comma splices, she is sitting in class.

Today’s Tip: Start a new sentence

Starting a new sentence when encountering a comma splice will put more emphasis in both independent clauses and will create a larger break.  When you have a long run-on sentence (as in example 5), then you will most likely want a new sentence start.  This gives the reader a break when reading.


5. The bat cracked as the ball collided, the sound echoing through the field, the crowd roared and stood on their toes as the ball arced and landed neatly in the outfielder’s mitt.


The bat cracked as the ball collided, the sound echoing through the field.  The crowd roared and stood on their toes as the ball arced and landed neatly in the outfielder’s mitt.

I started a new sentence after “field” as this sentence is a run-on.  It is long: two independent clauses with one including a participle phrase.  Making this into two separate sentences breaks the reading up for the reading and allows for better comprehension and flow of the story.


10. Writing fanfiction is stress-relieving, it is a world of its own.


Writing fanfiction is stress-relieving.  It is a world of its own.

Splitting this with a new sentence start allows for the two sentences to stand apart.  They are two descriptions of the same thing, but they are both equally as important.

You are also going to want to use this method to resolve a comma splice when in dialogue, as you want to avoid semi-colons in dialogue in general. A new sentence start or an Em dash (next week) will resolve the comma splice in dialogue without giving into the issues that can be caused by semi-colons.

Adrian’s Bio:

Adrian J. Smith has been writing nearly her entire life but publishing since 2013. With a focus on women loving women fiction, AJ jumps genres from action-packed police procedurals to the seedier life of vampires and witches to sweet romances with a May-December twist. She loves writing and reading about women in the midst of the ordinariness of life. Two of her novels, For by Grace and Memoir in the Making, received honorable mentions with the Rainbow Awards.

AJ currently lives in Cheyenne, WY, although she moves often and has lived all over the United States. She loves to travel to different countries and places. She currently plays the roles of author, wife, and mother to two rambunctious toddlers, occasional handy-woman. Connect with her on Facebook or on Twitter.

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