ESL Writing

Comma Splices and Conjunctions

This ESL writing exercise introduces students to comma splices and how to fix them by properly using conjunctions such as "and", "but", and "so".

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Punctuation: Comma Splices and Conjunctions


When you write in English, you have to be careful with punctuation.


You cannot put two sentences together with only a comma (,) – this is called a “comma splice”. (A “comma splice” is like a run-on sentence – you should avoid it in your writing.)


If you want to put two sentences together, you need a conjunction: and / but / so / because

**Note: With “and/but/so” you need to use a comma, but you usually don’t need a comma with “because”.




I went home early, I did my homework. (Wrong!)

I went home early, and I did my homework. (Right!)



I didn’t finish my homework, the teacher was angry. (Wrong!)

I didn’t finish my homework, so the teacher was angry. (Right!)

The teacher was angry because I didn’t finish my homework. (Right!)



You can draw pictures in class, you can’t talk to other students. (Wrong!)

You can draw pictures in class, but you can’t talk to other students. (Right!)






Combine the sentences below, using a conjunction (and/but/so/because) and a comma (if you use and/but/so). (See page 76 for sample answers.)


1. Chris went to Europe, he visited many countries.





2. I fell down the stairs last night, I didn’t get hurt.





3. I wanted to eat sushi, I went to a Japanese restaurant.





4. John and Kate went on a date, they didn’t have a very good time.





5. Willy enjoys playing badminton, he also likes to play soccer.





6. Andy hit another student in class, he got in trouble.




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