Which of the following is a run-on? A) Sara's parents tell her that they never worried about her like they did with Caroline, but Sara wants someone to feel concern for her. B) Sara makes friends with a sea captain, he supports Caroline's decisions about going to music school, Sara feels betrayed.

Expert Answers

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As I learned grammar, neither one of these sentences would be called a run-on sentence. The second sentence is one I refer to as a comma splice, which is an attempt to glue two sentences together with a comma.  A comma alone is glue that cannot make two statements stick together.  You can use a comma and a conjunction, a semi-colon, or begin a new sentence to fix a comma splice.  Here are some examples for you:

I love to bake, apple pie is my specialty.  (comma splice)

To fix the comma splice:

I love to bake, and apple pie is my specialty.

I love to bake; apple pie is my specialty.

I love to bake.  Apple pie is my specialty.

You might want to check with your teacher to clarify what he or she considers a run-on or a comma splice.  It is clear that different teachers can have different ideas about this.

Good luck to you! 

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B is a run-on because it is constructed of 3 independent clauses (sentences) connected with commas but no conjunctions.  To connect these without conjunctions would require the use of a semi-colon. 

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