Using Commas to Combine Sentences

How are commas used?

 
Commas alone cannot join two complete sentences. However, a comma combined with a coordinating conjunction can join two complete ideas of equal weight and importance.
 

When combining sentences…

Use coordinating conjunctions with a comma
 
Such as and, but, or, so, for (meaning “because”), and yet (meaning “but”)
  • My dog is old. My cat is still a kitten.
  • My dog is old, but my cat is still a kitten.

Common errors are…

Using comma splices
 
Comma splice refers to two sentences joined by a comma without the following coordinating conjunction.
  • My dog is old, my cat is still a kitten.
  • My dog is old, but my cat is still a kitten.
Using run‐on sentences
 
A run-on sentence refers to two sentences connected by a coordinating conjunction without the preceding comma.
  • My dog is old but my cat is still a kitten.
  • My dog is old, but my cat is still a kitten.
Using fused sentences
 
A fused sentence refers to two sentences connected without a comma or a coordinating conjunction.
  • My dog is old my cat is still a kitten.
  • My dog is old, but my cat is still a kitten

Download:

Document URL:

https://www-s3-live.kent.edu/s3fs-root/s3fs-public/file/commas-to-combine-sentences.pdf