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The term "comma splice" refers to a comma that is used to incorrectly join two independent clauses, thereby creating a run-on sentence.

For example:

  • The storm howled in the night, the children hid in their beds.
    ("The storm howled in the night" and "the children hid in their beds" are independent clauses)

To avoid a comma splice, insert a semicolon between the two independent clauses or use a coordinating conjunction that is preceded by a comma.

  • The storm howled in the night; the children hid in their beds.
  • The storm howled in the night, and the children hid in their beds.

For more information on punctuating sentences and avoiding comma splices, please see Punctuating sentences: Commas, semicolons, and colons.

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