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What Is a Comma Splice and Why Do You Need a Comma Splice Checker?

A comma splice is a common type of grammatical error that occurs when two or more independent clauses are combined in a single sentence using only a comma with no coordinating conjunction. Not only is this grammatically incorrect it can sometimes make your text more difficult to understand. This type of error is difficult for many students and writers to identify and correct but using a comma splice checker can make the task much easier.

How to Identify a Comma Splice

Is my sentence a comma splice? That’s a good question. In order to identify comma splices it is necessary to understand what an independent clause is. An independent clause is a simple sentence that has a subject, a verb, and expresses a complete thought. Commas alone aren’t considered strong enough to join two independent clauses. They require the help of a coordinating conjunction. There are seven coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). You can use the acronym “FANBOYS” to help you remember them. When you see two independent clauses joined with a comma but without one of the seven coordinating conjunctions then you have a comma splice. Even if you are aware of the rules it can be difficult to recognize comma splices in your own writing and you may want to use an online tool to find comma splice errors in your text.

How to Fix a Comma Splice

1) Replace the comma with a period. Make two separate sentences out of the comma splice by replacing the comma with a period and capitalizing the first word in the second independent clause.

  • Comma splice: “Fred’s food was overcooked and too salty, he ate it anyway.”
  • Corrected: “Fred’s food was overcooked and too salty. He ate it anyway.”


2) Replace the comma with a semicolon. Use a semicolon instead of a comma to separate the two independent clauses. Unless the word following the semicolon is a proper noun it isn’t necessary to capitalize it.

  • Comma splice: “Mary owns a landscaping company in Florida, she knows everything about plants.”
  • Corrected: “Mary owns a landscaping company in Florida; she knows everything about plants.”

 

3) Use a coordinating conjunction.Add a coordinating conjunction following the comma that separates the independent clauses.

  • Comma splice: “Mike ran as fast as he could, he still couldn’t catch the bus.”
  • Corrected: “Mike ran as fast as he could, but he still couldn’t catch the bus.”

4) Use a subordinating conjunction to separate the independent clauses. Replace the comma with a subordinating conjunction to make the second independent clause a dependent clause.

  • Comma splice: “Steve was late for his first day of class, he forgot to set his alarm clock last night.”
  • Corrected: “Steve was late for his first day of class because he forgot to set his alarm clock last night.”


5) Use a subordinating conjunction at the beginning of the sentence.  Begin the sentence with a subordinating conjunction to make the first independent clause a dependent clause.

  • Comma splice: “Karen was always late for rehearsal, she was replaced by her stand-in.”
  • Corrected: “Since Karen was always late for rehearsal, she was replaced by her stand-in.”


6) Use a colon. Replace the comma with a colon. Unless the word following the colon is a proper noun it shouldn’t be capitalized.

  • Comma splice: “Larry had a solution to his mounting debt problem, he simply filed for bankruptcy.”
  • Corrected: “Larry had a solution to his mounting debt problem: he simply filed for bankruptcy.”


7) Use a conjunctive adverb. Use a conjunctive adverb with a comma and semicolon. The semicolon should immediately follow the first independent clause and the comma should be right before the second independent clause.

  • Comma splice: “Mary was late paying her bill, she wasn’t penalized.”
  • Corrected: “Mary was late paying her bill; however, she wasn’t penalized.” 


Coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs may be a little confusing to some. One way how to correct run on sentences and comma splices that is easier is by using our comma splice finder to identify and correct these types of mistakes.

About Our Run on Sentence Checker

Finding and correcting comma splices, fused sentences and other grammatical errors in your own writing can be difficult and time consuming. Fortunately our fused/run on sentence and comma splice checker is a multi-purpose writing tool that can detect and correct many types of grammar mistakes:

Comma Splice Detector

“How do I check my paper for comma splices?” is a question many students and writers ask. Our writing tool is an excellent comma splice detector and can detect any comma splices in your writing. Not only that, after identifying the comma splice the tool recommends corrections you can make to fix the error. Any comma splice errors can be quickly eliminated by analyzing your text with the comma splice identifier.

Run on sentence checker

Fused sentences are another type of run on sentence that is similar to the comma splice. A fused sentence occurs when two or more independent clauses are combined into a single sentence without the use of any punctuation or a coordinating conjunction. You can identify comma splices and fused sentences easily using our online writing tool. After identifying run on sentences the comma splices and fused sentences checker suggests corrections to make in order to fix errors.

Fragment sentence detector

Sentence fragments are a grammatical error that plagues many students. To be complete a sentence requires three elements: a subject (person or thing performing an action), a verb (the action being performed) and it must express a complete thought. If a sentence lacks one of these elements it is a sentence fragment. Our fragment sentence detector identifies these types of mistakes and suggests appropriate corrections to fix them.

Incomplete sentence checker

Incomplete sentences are just another name for sentence fragments. They lack a subject, a verb or fail to express a complete thought. You can detect all of these types of mistakes with our incomplete sentence checker. If you don’t know how to fix an incomplete sentence don’t worry. Our writing tool provides you with suggestions on how to fix these mistakes.

Comprehensive sentence corrector

Aside from comma splices, fused sentences and sentence fragments there are many other sentence errors that our tool identifies and corrects. These include many different grammar mistakes such as verb tense problems, noun/pronoun agreement, subject/verb agreement, misplaced modifiers and singular/plural nouns among others. The tool also detects and corrects spelling mistakes and all types of punctuation errors. On top of all this it detects whether you are using the active or passive voice in your writing and identifies the tone of your text and recommends adjustments you can make.

Our comma splice and fragment checker works with any type of paper including academic writing, memos, letters or any other text you would like to check. When you need help with comma splices or any other grammar issue it is the best tool for the job.

Comma Splice Detector FAQ

Q: Are comma splices ever okay?

A: There are a few instances where it can be okay to have a comma splice. If the independent clauses are very short and the subject is the same it can be acceptable such as in the sentence “He came, he saw, he conquered.” It can also be okay to have a comma splice when short independent clauses express contrast as in the sentence “Inside its warm, outside its cold.” That being said, it is almost always better to fix the comma splice. 

Q: What is the difference between comma splice and run-on sentence?

A: A comma splice is a type of run on sentence. There are two types of run on sentences: fused sentences and comma splices. Fused sentences occur when two or more independent clauses are combined in a single sentence with no punctuation or coordinating conjunction separating them. Comma splices happen when two independent clauses are joined in a single sentence using only a comma with no coordinating conjunction. Every comma splice is a run on sentence but not every run on sentence is a comma splice.

Q: How does comma splice checker work?

A: First you must enter the text into the comma splice checker. It then scans your text and analyzes it using AI and advanced algorithms. When it detects two independent clauses joined only with a comma it highlights the error to identify it for you and provides recommendations on how to fix the mistake. 

Q: Can I trust comma splice finder results?

A: The comma splice finder is very accurate at identifying and correcting comma splice mistakes. It is suggested that after making the recommended edits that you use the tool to recheck the corrected text to ensure the corrections achieved the desired results. 

Q: What are the most effective ways to proofread your essay for comma splices?

A: There are several methods that you can use to proofread your essay for comma splices. 

  • Proofread manually yourself. Proofreading your own writing is difficult as you are generally too close to the material and can easily overlook mistakes. It can also be time consuming.
  • Have a friend/classmate proofread your essay. This requires having a friend familiar with comma splices and who has the time to do it. You will be subject to their schedule and they still may miss some mistakes
  • Hire a professional. A professional editor will provide good results but this can be expensive
  • Use our online comma splice fixer. Our online writing tool is very accurate and can identify all errors within a minute or less including providing suggested corrections. It is also free. The most effective way how to avoid run on sentences and comma splices is to proofread and edit using our comma splice tool.

Try our online comma splice checker on your next writing assignment and eliminate comma splices from your paper!

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