Grammar 10


Breaking the Rules (1)

Grammar lovers have a saying:

In this lesson we will break a rule of grammar on purpose.

A Series of Very Short Clauses

Consider this famous sentence:

Is that sentence punctuated correctly? Absolutely not! By now you know that independent clauses cannot be joined by a comma. The correct punctuation is:

Nonetheless, many professional writers would agree that in this particular case, it is "acceptable" to join the clauses with commas, because the clauses are very short, and the sentence does seem to flow nicely when it's punctuated with commas instead of semicolons.

Here are some more examples:

In this lesson, you will write a compound sentence with three independent clauses. Splice the clauses with commas.

Make sure the clauses are very short. Intransitive clauses with nothing but a subject and a verb work best.

Note: Keep in mind that you are writing a sentence that is grammatically incorrect!

And you should probably never do it again—unless you become a professional writer. Only after you have mastered the rules of grammar are you allowed to break them!

Lesson Steps

  1. Open your writing portfolio.
    • Level 10
      • Breaking the Rules (1)
  2. Write a compound sentence with three short clauses spliced together with commas.

  3. When you are finished, return to this page and take the quiz.

Instructions for Quiz

Answer the questions.