Fix two BIG errors in English writing!

Hi. I’m Rebecca from engVid. In this lesson I’ll show you how to avoid
the two most common errors made in English writing, and also
how to fix them. Okay? So, these two errors are: The run-on
sentence and the comma splice. So, what does that mean? Well, what happens in both these cases is
that two sentences are incorrectly joined into one sentence. In one case, the run-on sentence, it’s incorrectly
joined because there’s no punctuation; and in the comma splice, it’s
incorrectly joined with a comma. Okay? Let’s have a look at some examples so
you understand exactly what I mean. So, the first one: “I like your
haircut it looks really good.” Now, what happened here? We have a subject and a verb, and a
sentence here: “I like your haircut.” So this sentence is really a sentence by
itself; it should end there in some way. Okay? Later we’re going to look at exactly how
to fix it; there are a few options. But the writer wrote right after that: “…it
looks really good”, so that’s another sentence with a subject and a verb. Right? We have it here. All right? So, this is incorrect, and this is an example of
a run-on sentence, because it’s two sentences with no punctuation. Let’s take a look at this one: “I like
your haircut, it looks really good.” Well, it still should be two separate sentences
in some way, or correctly joined, but it’s not. It was only joined with a
comma, which is incorrect. Okay? So this is an example of the comma splice,
which is basically these two sentences were combined into one
incorrectly with a comma. Let’s take a look
at another example. “My brother is a doctor
he works at a hospital.” So, by now you can probably
tell me: Here we have… “My brother” is the subject, “is” is the verb;
“he” is the subject, “works” is the verb, but these are two sentences. Right? But what happened? The writer wrote them
as one long sentence. “My brother is a doctor
he works at a hospital.” And really, we needed some kind of
break here, and the same thing here. So this was… Sorry. An example of a run-on sentence. Right? And this one: “My brother is a
doctor, he works at a hospital.” But, again, we cannot
join this kind of… These two sentences
with a comma. So this was a mistake
called a comma splice. Now, you’re saying to me: “Does a comma
really make all that difference?” Yeah, it does, and especially if you’re appearing
for any kind of exam-okay?-any kind of English exam, like the IELTS, or the TOEFL, or the
TOEIC, or the PTE, or anything else; or if you’re submitting an assignment in school, or
in college, or in university; or if you’re writing an email. An email, you’re just going to look quite
unprofessional; but in school or in any academic situation, you’re going to lose marks for
sure in your writing with this mistake. Why? Because it’s a very
basic mistake. Okay? It’s not a sophisticated, advanced mistake;
it’s a basic mistake that you need to know in English. “What is a complete sentence? And how to create a complex
sentence or anything else.” Okay? So, next we’re going to look
at how to fix these mistakes. All right, are you with me? Let’s take a look
at a new example. “People are buying books online
bookstores are closing.” All right? So right now, the way it is
up here, this is a mistake. This is, which one? Run-on sentence or comma splice? It’s a run-on sentence. Okay? If it had had a comma here, then
it would be a comma splice. But one way or the other, we have two sentences
which are incorrectly joined and made into one sentence. So, how can we fix it? So, here, first I’m going to show you
two easier solutions that you can use. So, the first one is to separate
the two sentences with a period. For example: “People are
buying books online.” (Period). And then, of course, because now we have a new
sentence, we need to make this a capital: “Bookstores are closing.” All right? Got it? Separate them with a period. Separate the two sentences, and start
the new sentence with a capital letter. Second option: Separate
with a semi-colon. Okay? What’s a semi-colon? It’s a punctuation mark that looks like this:
“;”. It’s actually a really good punctuation mark to get to know, because if you use a
semi-colon in your writing, it’s considered a little bit more of an advanced punctuation
mark and it shows that your English is at a little bit of a higher level. It’s a very popular punctuation mark in
universities, and academic writing, and so on. Okay? So, learn it; it’s
not hard to use. And what does a semi-colon
mean, or why do we use it? We use it to separate-yes-but we use it when
two sentences or two ideas are quite close in meaning, like here. Right? “People are buying books
online;” (semi-colon). And now we’ve created the separation, but
we don’t need to capitalize anything here. Okay? So then we say: “People are buying
books online; bookstores are closing.” All right? So the only difference was here we
created two separate sentences. It’s a little more
basic also, here. All right? Here, it’s a little more sophisticated, a
little more advanced because we said: “People are buying books online;”-no
capital-“bookstores are closing”. All right? So these are the first two options
that you have to fix this sentence. Next we’re going to look at two
slightly more advanced options. All right, so now let’s look at option number
three, and that is to make a compound sentence. What is a compound sentence? A compound sentence is when we have two sentences
that are connected with what’s called a coordinating conjunction. Okay? I know that’s a long grammatical term,
but it refers to one of these words. And just to remember them, we
have the acronym: FANBOYS. Okay? So, F for “for”, “and”, “nor”,
“but”, “or”, “yet”, and “so”. Okay? These are coordinating conjunctions that
you can use to create a compound sentence. For example: “People are buying books
online and bookstores are closing.” Now it’s a proper, correct
sentence in terms of grammar. Or we could have said here: “People are buying
books online,”-and in this case, comma-“so bookstores are closing”. Okay? But either of those words makes
this now a correct sentence. All right? And that would be called a compound sentence,
because we have two complete sentences: “People are buying books online”, and the second sentence:
“Bookstores are closing”, but they’re connected properly. Okay? I hope you’re with me;
I’m sure you are. Okay. Let’s look at the last option, and
that is to make a complex sentence. All right? This is considered,
like, the more… The most advanced option
that you can implement. All right? So, here, what we do is we
use something like this. We say, for example: “Because people are buying
books online,”-comma-“bookstores are closing”. Now, why is this a
complex sentence? Because we have an independent clause-right?-that
can stand by itself: “Bookstores are closing”, and we have something called a dependent clause,
because if we say: “Because people are buying books online”, that’s not a
complete sentence by itself, right? It depends on the second part
of the sentence to make sense. So, this first part is called a dependent clause,
and the second part is called an independent clause. It doesn’t have to
go in that order. When the dependent clause comes first, then
we have a comma; if it was in the other… The other order-okay?-the opposite order,
if we said: “Bookstores are closing because people are buying books online”,
then we don’t need any comma. Got all that? Good for you. Sometimes when there are a lot of options,
what’s better is to learn one option and do that every time, and that makes your
life easier and also you’ll be right. Okay? So, words like: “because”, these are called
subordinating conjunctions, for those of you who love grammar. And examples of subordinating conjunctions are:
“because”, or: “before”, “after”, “although”, “though”, “as”,
“since”, and “because”. All right? These are examples of subordinating conjunctions
that we can use to make or create complex sentences to solve the problem that we were
originally trying to solve of a run-on sentence or a comma splice. Okay? So now you’re just so much smarter than
when we started a few minutes ago. You have learned four wonderful way
to solve this very common problem. Okay? And, as I said, it is
a serious problem. Even though I’m smiling and I’m laughing,
because I like to smile and laugh, it’s still a serious problem. Okay? So, use one of these methods to solve
the problem, and that will be that. And pay attention to your own writing in the
next week or so; look at your emails, check your writing. Are you doing this? And if not… If so, fix it. Okay? Now you know how. All right. So, in order to master this, though, and make
sure that you don’t do this anymore, please go to our website: www.engvid.com, and
there, you can do a quiz on this. And I highly recommend that, because the more
practice you can get with it, the better you’ll get and also the
easier it will become. All right? It won’t seem just like a lot of words, like:
Complex sentence, compound sentence; you’ll actually begin to understand that, especially
when you combine it with this lesson. If you’re going… If you need to, you can come back, watch the
lesson; go back, do the quiz-okay?-until you get it right, so that your English
writing can be really excellent. Okay? So, thanks very
much for watching. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel,
and share with your friends if you enjoyed this lesson. Okay? Thanks very much for watching, and
all the best with your English. Bye for now.

Bernard Jenkins


  1. Thanks for watching! Once you correct these mistakes, your writing will improve tremendously. If you're interested in private lessons to improve your English writing for business/ IELTS / TOEFL, you can contact me here: www.rebeccaezekiel.com

  2. I love the way you are teaching , so understandable ,would you consider to teach accent reducing .

  3. Hi Rebecca, Please make a video about common phrases use inside the classroom. Phrases use by teachers or students. tnx!

  4. Madam Rebecca, it's very nice to see your explanation on topics covered in your lecture

  5. Subscribe to our channel if you wanna learn English or prepare for a presentation …. Leave any topic in the comment section and we will help you … Welcome

  6. Thanks for clear explanation.. Love to watch the videos are correct grammar

  7. very good explanations madam.. Thank you for your very informative and educative lessons.

  8. Hello English Teacher.
    Really really really really thanks you so much. Your English is very helpful

  9. How come when I was in the primary my Teacher said do not to start the sentence with because.

  10. Dear ma'am, thank you so much for your wonderful video. It really helps me to learn english correctly. Lots of love from India.

  11. I understand you very wel. Why that dosn't happen when I am listening other people or a film, sometimes seems that I already know English, and other seem that I am a complete beginning because I understand nothing people say/sing?

  12. Hello Ma'am, Should we use comma before "and" all the time or is it based on certain criterias?

  13. Thanks for your helpful lesson. Could you help me with this question? Is it compulsory to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction? E.g. People are buying books online, so bookstores are closing.

  14. I am following your all videos Rebecca, you are doing great work! Lots of love from Canada.

  15. Dear Rebecca, you are the excellent English mentor with extremely clear explanations appealing inYouTube channel. I have learned much from you. Thanks so much.

  16. My sweet teacher..!
    I like your smile..!

  17. Would you comment about starting a sentence with the word, "because?" Bookstores are closing because people are buying books online. I recall from some English class that starting a sentence with the word because was incorrect form. I do not recall why.

  18. This kind of error is so common to me because in my mother language, which is Portuguese, it's possible to make a comma splice.

  19. If that was what it is, why do people need commas. They can write two sentences and other people read and still make sence. So, what is the job of a commas???

  20. does a simple sentence has a commas or not??? if the simple sentence has a commas in between, then what is the different between the simple sentence and the compound sentence???? it's so confused

  21. You're one of the best teachers I have ever found. Your way of delivering the lectures with simple vocabulary makes it easier for me to understand your lectures. I have a request to kindly differentiate among the uses of colon, semi-colon and dash. Specifically, I could not understand the difference between colon and semi colon for joining two sentences. I hope you will lecture on punctuation marks in detail.

  22. People are buying books online and/so bookstores are closing. I thought a comma should come before the words and/so. Please let me know why I'm wrong.

  23. These just only wrong in writing right?? because when people talking, they always used comma splice with two complete sentences???

  24. how come we don't used compound sentence , but we used semicolon??? which one is correct???

  25. You are a great teacher, I have been learning a great deal ever since I started watching your videos. Love from India!

  26. Are we not supposed to put comma before ‘and’ too when it’s starting another sentence ? 🤔

  27. Rebecca your videos really help me and others too I am sure.
    Keep making more English videos; you are awesome

  28. Madam,In second line is and he is the subject, why not ‘my’ is the subject?

  29. Hey rebecca !! Can we use conditionals in IELTS?. Can you provide some sample sentences that can be used in the exam ?

  30. Thanks Rebecca.Learning much from your videos, even as an English teacher myself. Great explanation n great teaching material.Bless you!😘

  31. What does yet mean as a co -ordinating conjunction? However, moreover,

  32. help . i wanted to see how the first sentences were correctly written. Rebecca said she will show how to write them correctly but she did not ( see video at 1.10 . ) the sentences I refer are : RO I like your hair cut it looks really good ( and so on )

  33. For years, I have been struggling with converting sentences to compound and complex.. now that I’m crystal clear about the concept! I truly appreciate your work and many thanks for the video..

  34. Thank you Rebeca… wonderful lessons… you really changed the way I used to learn the language,
    I watch your videos regularly and thanks God for having a teacher and Human like you.

  35. Hello Ma'am, Your video is an excellent way of learning in no time. Could you please correct me, in sentence no. 3 after and/so are used, should there be (the) bookstores written or not.

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