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Run-On Sentences

Run-on sentences occur when writers try to combine more than one idea into a single sentence. They cause confusion because readers are not sure when one idea ends and the next one begins. Read our entry and test your knowledge with our quiz!



Articles

Articles are the words “a,” “an,” and “the”. These words are used to introduce nouns. “The” refers to a particular item.  “A” and “an” refer to something general. Use “an” when the following noun starts with a vowel sound.

 Example: I wanted to eat a sandwich, but the restaurant I like was closed. We went to an open shop across the street instead. 

The restaurant in the sentences above is specific, so it is preceded by “the”. The sandwich is not specific, so it is preceded by “a”. Open shop is also not specific, but it is preceded by “an” since “open” begins with a vowel sound.


Some words begin with vowels, but are pronounced with a consonant sound. These words will use “a” as the article. Other words begin with consonants, but are pronounced with a vowel sound. These words will use “an” as the article.

Example: McKinley Prep School requires you to wear a uniform.

Example: It is an honor to join the ranks of Nobel Prize winners.