When dealing with technical writing, it is important for a writer to consider the proper choice of words, sentence construction, and the writing style. Aside from that, the writer must be also aware of the common sentence errors and how to correct them.

Common Sentence Errors Every Writer must Learn how to Correct

First off, let’s define a sentence. A sentence is a word or group of words that state a complete thought or meaning. It must composed of a subject and a predicate. Below are the common sentence errors every writer must recognize and learn how to fix.

#Fragment

A fragment is a part of sentence often confused readers because they may ‘look’ as a complete sentence. It can be a phrase or a dependent clause which reflects incomplete meaning.

To correct: Make sure to make fragments as complete sentence.

Here is an example of fragment:

1. Before picking out an intricately-designed painting for her fully furnished receiving area.

This is a fragment because it does not state a complete thought. What happened before picking out an intricately-designed painting? Or, what does the subject did before that?

The above fragment can be corrected to become a complete sentence by adding an idea.

Ex. She called an interior designer before picking out an intricately-designed painting for her fully furnished receiving area.

#Comma Splice

A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses are connected only by a comma. However, a comma alone is not enough to convey a complete thought.

Here are five ways on how to correct a comma splice:

1. By using a period to write the two sentences when two clauses are not really related.

Comma Splice: Entrepreneurship is a course dealing with the study of businesses, high school graduates are embracing it enthusiastically.

Correct: Entrepreneurship is a course dealing with the study of businesses. High school graduates are embracing it enthusiastically.

2. By using a semicolon between the clauses in place of the comma and the coordinating conjunction. This is done when a degree of separation is needed to show the clarity of both clauses.

Comma Splice: Certain cities are opposed to the newly-proposed law by the government, some of them made press releases and some perform an open rally.

Correct: Certain countries are opposed to the newly-proposed law by United Nations; some of them made press releases and some performed an open rally.

3. By using a comma, and then followed by a coordinating conjunction such as but, and, yet, however, so, etc, to effectively connect the two independent clauses.

Comma Splice: It was an hour before his official time, the speaker was in the conference room to prepare his Powerpoint slides, put up his devices and check the physical arrangement of the area.

Correct: It was an hour before his official time, but the speaker was in the conference room to prepare his Powerpoint slides, put up his devices, and check the physical arrangement of the area.

4. By using a semicolon and then followed by a proper transitional device

Comma Splice: All the monthly reports are due by next week, later reports may be accepted as per the discretion of the general manager.

Correct: All the monthly reports are due by next week; however, later reports may be accepted as per the discretion of the general manager.

5. By subordinating the lesser clause to the main clause

Comma Splice: All the people in the gym are restless and in panic, Jeffrey remained calmed.

Correct: While all the people in the gym are restless and in panic, Jeffrey remained calmed.

Or,

Jeffrey remained calmed when all the people in the gym are restless and in panic.

#Run-on Sentences

Run-on sentences are also called fused sentences. A run-on sentence occurs when two independent clauses do not have coordinating conjunction between them. That makes it blur in meaning. Reading a run-on sentence annoys a reader because there seems no way where to pause or stop.

To correct: Run-on sentences can be corrected by adding appropriate punctuation marks.

We hope these tips will help you write better in English. More tips coming up, so stay tuned!

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