Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What's a Comma Splice?

A comma splice occurs when you're hooking two complete sentences together with a comma. For instance:

She walked into the room, the door was still ajar behind her.

Commas are used to hook incomplete things together, not complete things. There are a couple of ways we can fix this problem.

First, we can make this sentence into two sentences.

She walked into the room. The door was still ajar behind her. 

Or we can make the second sentence an incomplete sentence.

She walked into the room, the door still ajar behind her.

Or we can use a semi-colon, which can hook two complete sentences together if they're closely related.

She walked into the room; the door was still ajar behind her.

Or you can reword the sentence entirely. It's up to you. But whatever you do, please don't use a comma splice. It can confuse the meaning of your sentence, and it can make you look like a dork - and remember, we should avoid looking like a dork at all costs. 


Donna K. Weaver said...

Jo Rowling loves comma splices.

Betsy said...

Whew! It's nice to know I never do this. I've almost got the whole pesky comma thing figured out. It's nice to read a grammar tip and then say to yourself, "Hey, I got that one down."