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:

Instructions for the Quiz

Write a compound sentence with three independent clauses. Splice the clauses with commas.

Make sure the clauses are very short. Intrasitive 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!


Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions