Difference Between Comma Splice and Fused Sentence

Grammatical errors are a common occurrence in English. Each sentence error has its respective identification features and terminology. Comma splice and fused sentences are two commonly occurring grammatical errors in English.

While they may seem identical, a comma splice and a fused sentence vary on several grounds including the use of punctuation and ways of fixing. 

Comma Splice vs Fused Sentence 

The main difference between a comma splice and a fused sentence is that a comma splice occurs when two independent clauses are joined together by a comma. On the other hand, a fuse sentence occurs when two independent clauses are joined together without any punctuation marks or coordinating conjunction.  

Comma Splice vs Fused Sentence

A comma splice is a common sentence error. A comma splice takes place when the writer uses a comma instead of coordinating conjunctions to join two independent clauses in a sentence.

Comma splices are categorized as sentence errors in standardized writings. However, they are generally excused in literary works or other writings where the tone is informal.  

A fused sentence is a sentencing error wherein two independent clauses are combined together without using any coordinating conjunction or punctuation mark.

A fused sentence is an unacceptable error in standard English writing. However, the plus point is that a fused sentence can be easily fixed by using a wide variety of corrective techniques. 

Comparison Table Between Comma Splice and Fused Sentence 

Parameters of ComparisonComma Splice Fused Sentence 
Meaning A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses are joined by a comma. A fused sentence occurs when no punctuation marks or conjunction is used between two independent clauses. 
Acceptance A comma splice may be accepted in literary writings.A fused sentence is unacceptable in standard English.
Punctuation Comma splice contains a comma.There is no punctuation mark included in a fused sentence. 
Correction A comma splice can be corrected by changing the comma into a semicolon.A fused sentence can be corrected by adding a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb.
ExampleI was hungry, I went to the pizza shop.Rekha went shopping she bought a dress. 

What is Comma Splice?

A comma splice is a grammatical error wherein a comma is used to join two independent clauses. While it is considered as an error in normal grammar usage, a comma splice is a general occurrence in literary writings.

The purpose of a common splice in such works is to convey a degree of informality. A comma splice may be considered valid only in the case of short similar phrases or informal writing. 

Comma splices are rarely found in published writings. However, they may be a common occurrence among inexperienced writers of English. A comma splice is identical to a run-on sentence.

This is primarily because run-on sentences also join independent clauses without any coordinating conjunction or a punctuation. Generally, comma splice is considered a special type of run-on sentence. 

There are certain limited scenarios wherein comma splices are accepted. When the clauses are short or closely related, a comma splice is generally overruled.

In addition, when there is no possibility of a miscue, a comma splice can be excused. Lastly, when the context of a writing is informal, comma splices are not an issue. 

Comma splice often conveys a particular mood in poetry, fiction, or other forms of literary writings.

The most common occurrence of comma splices is seen when writers employ conjunctive adverbs such as furthermore and however, instead of coordinating conjunctions to separate two independent clauses.

Thus, the validation of a comma splice depends on the situation where it occurs. 

What is a Fused Sentence?

A fused sentence is a grammatical error wherein two independent clauses are joined without using any punctuation. Another name for fused sentences is run-on sentences.

Fused sentences are, therefore, generally difficult to read and may confuse the reader. The common characteristics of fused sentences are an absence of prepositional phrases, conjunctions, or punctuation marks. 

On a brighter side, there are several ways to correct fused sentences. Firstly, fused sentences can be corrected by separating the independent clauses by adding a period.

Another way is to add a semicolon to separate the two related independent clauses. For instance, Riya bought a notebook; she forgot to bring one for me. 

The third method of correcting fused sentences involves the use of both a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb. For example, Micheal came to the party; however, he forgot to bring his gift.

In addition, a fused sentence can be corrected by inserting a comma and a coordinating conjunction. For instance, I wanted to go to the party, but I wasn’t feeling well. 

Lastly, to correct a fused sentence, one can add a subordinating conjunction to turn a main clause into a subordinate clause. For example, Although I was feeling a little feverish, I attended my best friend’s birthday party.

Therefore, it is evident that a fused sentence is an easily fixable grammatical error. Writers can use different methods to correct a fused sentence. 

Main Differences Between Comma Splice and Fused Sentence 

  1. While a comma splice includes a comma, a fused sentence does not have a comma. 
  2. A comma splice can be corrected by adding a conjunction or by changing the comma to a semicolon. In contrast, a fused sentence can be corrected by changing each independent clause into a separate sentence. 
  3. A comma splice may occur when a comma is used instead of a period. In contrast, a fused sentence may occur when two independent clauses are squeezed together without any punctuation. 
  4. A comma splice may be acceptable in short or informal writings. However, a fused sentence is not accepted in any form of writing. 
  5. An example of a comma splice is I went to buy a coffee, the shop was closed. An example of a fused sentence is Michael left his job he is taking some time off now. 
Difference Between Comma Splice and Fused Sentence

Conclusion

Therefore, a comma splice and a fused sentence are not identical grammatical errors. While the main feature of a comma splice is that it includes a comma as an error, a fused sentence does not involve any punctuation mark.

The ways of fixing a comma splice and a fused sentence are subject to variation. 

A comma splice and a fused sentence share some similarities. Both types of sentence errors come into existence when writers attempt to join two independent clauses in an unacceptable manner.

In addition, a comma splice and a fused sentence are both easily fixable sentence boundary errors. Nonetheless, both these errors should be avoided in standard English. 

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_splice 
  2. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/fused-sentence-guide#how-to-fix-a-fused-sentence 
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