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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!



Complex Sentences

Complex Sentences have two parts- an independent clause and a dependent clause. Only the independent clause can stand as its own sentence whereas the dependent clause must be a part of a complete sentence. These two parts are linked by words like “although,” “after”, “because,” “if,” “since,” “when,” “while,” and “unless.”

Example: Since it was a beautiful day, Jack went to the beach.

One part of the sentence, “Jack went to the beach,” can exist on its own; however, the other part, “since it was a beautiful day,” comes after the linking word “since” and can’t stand on its own.


Here are some examples of complex sentences.  In these examples the independent clause (the part that can stand alone) will be bolded.  The dependent clause will be italicized.

Example: My aunt Tia baked me a delicious Boysenberry pie after I asked her to surprise me with something for my birthday.

Example: Because the teacher had warned the students about plagiarism, Mark received an "F" on his paper due to improper citations.

Example: I think this is going to be the best Fourth of July ever, unless of course it rains.