San Jose City College
   Recognize and Avoid Comma Splices


Sentence , Sentence = Comma Splice


A comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma for end-of-sentence punctuation. A comma cannot be used to end a sentence unless a coordinating conjunction follows it.

Example:
Cell phones are very popular, they can be used for all types of communication.
     Subject       +      Verb                                 Subject   +  Verb
To edit for comma splices like the one in the example above, scan your paper for commas. Are any of your commas between clauses that are not joined with a coordinator? Is the clause to the left of the comma a complete sentence? If it is, you have a comma splice and need to change your punctuation.
There are five easy ways to correct comma splices.
1. Replace the comma with a period.
Cell phones are very popular. They can be used for all types of communication.
2. Replace the comma with a semi-colon.
Cell phones are very popular; they can be used for all types of communication.
3. Keep the comma and use a logical coordinating conjunction.
Cell phones are very popular, for they can be used for all types of communication.
4. Replace the comma with a logical subordinating conjunction.
Cell phones are very popular because they can be used for all types of communication.
5. Replace the comma with a semi-colon (or a period) and use a logical transition.
Cell phones are very popular; in fact, they can be used for all types of communication.

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ESL Program@San Jose City College
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