Comma Splice Exercise (424)

A comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma to link two independent clauses. All but one of the sentences below include a comma splice; identify the sentences with comma splices and fix them.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: This is not just a gun issue, this is an unemployment issue, it’s a poverty issue, and it’s a family issue.
Correct : This is not just a gun issue; this is an unemployment issue, it’s a poverty issue, and it’s a family issue.
Alterna.: This is not just a gun issue. This is an unemployment issue, it's a poverty issue, and it's a family issue.

2.
Original: He had helped solve Internet congestion, could he do the same for vehicular traffic?
Correct : He had helped solve Internet congestion; could he do the same for vehicular traffic?
Alterna.: He had helped solve Internet congestion. Could he do the same for vehicular traffic?

3.
Original: We donated to charities instead of buying Christmas gifts for each other, we felt like giving to others who were less fortunate than us.
Correct : We donated to charities instead of buying Christmas gifts for each other, because we felt like giving to others who were less fortunate than us.
Alterna.: We donated to charities instead of buying Christmas gifts for each other. We felt like giving to others who were less fortunate than us.

A subordinate conjunction can be used to fix the comma splice.

4.
Original: If he had only notified me ahead of time, we could have avoided all this trouble.
Correct : If he had only notified me ahead of time, we could have avoided all this trouble.

This sentence was originally correct. Because this sentence begins with the conditional "if," the first clause is subordinate to the second one. They are not independent clauses, so a comma splice has not occurred.

5.
Original: I had been planning to attend, however, I’ve changed my mind.
Correct : I had been planning to attend; however, I’ve changed my mind.
Alterna.: I had been planning to attend. However, I've changed my mind.

When a conjunctive adverb such as "however" begins a new clause, it must be preceded by a semicolon (or must begin a new sentence).

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