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Sentence Lengths

Run-on Sentences

I wanted the party to be just right and it was because there were many friends and family there and there was plenty of food and drinks and the music was good so the birthday girl was happy.

Corrected:

I wanted the party to be just right and it was. There were many friends and family in attendance, plenty of food and drinks, and good songs in the background. The birthday girl was happy.

Beware of Semicolons!

When editing for sentence length, make sure that semicolons are properly used: to link similar ideas (especially with transitional words or phrases) and to separate things in a series that contain other punctuation (like commas).

The test was really hard because the professor wanted very detailed answers and he asked questions that we did not talk about in class and I asked him about them; he said that I did not study enough.

Corrected:

The test was really hard because the professor wanted very detailed answers and asked questions that we did not talk about in class. When I asked him about them, he said that Idid not study enough.

Fragments

Editing for Fragments:

A sentence must have a subject.

A sentence must have a verb, not a verbal.

Verb: I am reading.

Verbal: I reading.

A sentence must have at least one clause that does not begin with a subordinating word.

Common subordinating words:

Although                   If                              When
As                            Since                      Where
Because                  That Whether
Before                     Though                  Which
How                        Unless                    Who

 

 

 

 

The students were researching a variety of topics. Such as Shakespeare’s sonnets and humor in political poems.

Corrected:

The students were researching a variety of topics, such as Shakespeare’s sonnets and humor in political poems.

We ran errands. And ate supper at Noodles.

Corrected:

We ran errands and ate supper at Noodles.