Common writing mistakes to avoid

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Make sure that each sentence has an independent (or main) clause. A dependent clause cannot stand on its own. It must be added to an independent clause.

Dependent clauses are introduced by subordinating conjunctions. Common examples are: if, whether, because, as, when, while, since, after etc.

The word groups given below are all dependent clauses that cannot stand alone.

It is easy to identify dependent clauses. They usually begin with conjunctions.

Not all clauses introduced by conjunctions are dependent (subordinate) clauses. Clauses introduced by coordinating conjunctions are independent (main) clauses. The most common coordinating conjunctions are: and, or, but, for, yet, nor, so. Although you can begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction, it is not always considered appropriate.

Run-on Sentences

A run-on sentence is a very common error. While proofreading your work, read each sentence to see whether it contains more than one independent clause.

If a sentence contains two or more independent clauses they must be connected with a coordinating conjunction. Or they must be separated with an appropriate punctuation mark.

Study the example sentence given below.

The sentence given above contains two independent clauses but they are not connected by a conjunction or separated by a punctuation mark.

It could be rewritten as:

You can learn more about run-on sentences on this page.

Sections in this article

Adjective clauses
Relative clauses
Relative pronouns
Identifying relative clauses

See Also

Adverb clauses
Noun clauses
Synthesis of sentences
Transformation of sentences
The adverb too