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Comma Splices:
Independent clauses


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.

Comma splices

A comma splice occurs when a comma rather than a period separates two complete sentences

Example:

• 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.

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