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Independent clauses must be separated by proper punctuation,
either through the use of a period, semi-colon, or, sometimes,
a colon. Commas can be used to separate independent clauses
only if they are used with a coordinating conjunction. Comma
splices and fused sentences are different errors, but they
produce the same grammatical problem of juxtaposing two independent
clauses without proper punctuation between them.
A comma splice occurs when a comma rather than a period separates
two complete sentences
Incorrect: Arco, Inc. failed to meet profit
expectations last year, its stock price fell dramatically. Correct: Arco, Inc. failed to meet profit expectations
last year; its stock price fell dramatically.
To use a comma to separate independent clauses, the writer
needs to employ a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for,
or, nor, so, and yet):
Arco, Inc failed to meet profit expectations last
year, so its stock price fell dramatically.