11.1 The sentence fragment
11.2 The comma splice
When a sentence contains two principal or co-ordinate clauses (phrases that could stand alone as separate sentences), it is always wrong to connect them with a comma. Here is an example of a comma splice:
- Sheep are great, they live on grass.
To correct a comma splice, choose one of three options:
- Insert a period after the first phrase and start a new sentence
- Sheep are great. They live on grass.
- Introduce the second clause with "and", "or", "but", "because" or a similar word
- Sheep are great because they live on grass.
- Use a colon, semicolon or dash to separate the phrases. Never use a comma.
- Sheep are great; they live on grass.
11.4 Crossing the stage
A "heads-up" icon alerts you to common style issues.
Watch for "Check this out" icons to point you to more information.
We've put together a few handy and easy-to-remember tips.
Some punctuation characters mentioned in the style guide (such as the en-dash) are in the extended character set. This means these characters cannot be found on your keyboard, but you can type in key codes to retrieve them. We have included the common keystrokes for both Mac and PC.