Run-On Sentences Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

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.

What is a Run-On Sentence?

See how much of this paragraph you 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.

Run-On Versus 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.


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.

Fix runons

Let's practice fixing a few run-ons!

Separate Sentences

Break the sentences up by looking for complete thoughts. If you have a subject and a predicate, you can make a sentence by placing a punctuation mark at the end.

Fix the following run-ons:

  • We played in the sand all the time it was so much fun!
  • My sister built an enormous sand castle I crushed it with my foot Dad yelled at me.

The run-ons could be fixed to say:

  • We played in the sand all the time. It was so much fun!
  • My sister built an enormous sand castle. I crushed it with my foot. Dad yelled at me.

Combine Sentences

To join two complete thoughts in a sentence, you place a comma and a conjunction between the two complete thoughts. Common conjunctions include:

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