Run-On Sentences Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Have you ever talked to someone who goes on and on and just doesn't stop talking? When writing, you use punctuation to help you know when to take pauses. In this lesson, you are going to learn about run-on sentences and how to fix them. Updated: 11/13/2020

What Is a Run-On Sentence?

Let's see how much of this paragraph we can read out loud without taking a break or pausing to breathe:

  • Today was the best day in the whole world my family began our beach vacation it took a long time to get to the beach my sister and I were thrilled to see the beautiful blue skies and giant ocean waves.

Did you notice where you should be pausing? Did you need to stop and take a breath? It may have been difficult, because the statement is one huge run-on sentence and needs fixing. Run-on sentences are sentences that include more than one complete thought without the use of a punctuation mark to separate those complete thoughts.

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  • 0:03 What Is a Run-On Sentence?
  • 0:38 Run-On vs. Complete Sentences
  • 1:36 Fixing Run-On Sentences
  • 3:52 Lesson Summary
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Run-On vs. Complete Sentences

When people ramble on, it's hard to follow what they're saying. The same thing can happen when people write. That's why you need to write in complete sentences.

To form a complete sentence, you need a subject and predicate along with an end punctuation mark. A subject of a sentence describes who or what you're talking about. The predicate tells what the subject is like or what it's doing. Finally, a punctuation mark like a period, question mark, or exclamation point goes at the end. Let's look at a side-by-side comparison of a complete and run-on sentence.

Runons

The run-on sentence is:

  • Today was the best day in the whole world my family began our beach vacation.

Here, there are two subjects, two predicates, and one period.

On the other hand, here are complete sentences:

  • Today was the best day in the whole world. My family began our beach vacation.

Here, each sentence has one subject, predicate, and end mark.

Fixing Run-On Sentences

When you find a run-on sentence, you can fix it one of two ways. You can either turn the run-on into two or more complete sentences, or you can combine the complete thoughts.

Separate Sentences

To separate sentences, use proper end marks to turn a run-on into two or more complete sentences.

For example, the run-on:

  • It took a long time to get to the beach my sister and I were thrilled to see the blue skies and giant waves

Can be broken up into:

  • It took a long time to get to the beach. My sister and I were thrilled to see the blue skies and giant waves.

Combine Sentences

It's also possible to combine sentences by using a comma and/or a conjunction like ''and,'' ''or,'' or ''but'' between the two complete thoughts.

The run-on sentence:

  • We loved looking at the scenery we loved watching the dolphins surface

Can be changed to:

  • We loved looking at the scenery and watching the dolphins surface.

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