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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!



Ending Punctuation

Sentences can end in one of three ways: with a period (.), exclamation point (!), or question mark (?). 

Use a period to end a sentence without any extra emphasis on the sentence.  A period shows the reader that an idea has ended without illustrating any additional sentiment.

Example: I walked my dog after I cleaned my room.

Example: I'm thinking of buying a beige sweater.

Example: After buying a bucket of popcorn and a gallon of Coke, Janine sat down in the movie theater.


Use an exclamation point to give extra emotion to the sentence.  Exclamation marks typically convey strong excitement, anticipation, or eagerness.  Additionally, exclamation points can be used to indicate an increase in volume.

Example: I cannot believe that I was accepted into my favorite college!

Example: I'm so happy it is snowing outside; if I am lucky, school will be cancelled!

Example: After stumbling through desert for several days, Davis rubbed his eyes in disbelief - an oasis!


Use a question mark when the sentence is directly asking something.

Example: Will you be home in time for dinner?

Example: Excuse me sir, is this your hat?

Example: Aren't you going to thank me?