Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
A sentence is a group of words that express an idea
They start with a capital letter and end with a full-stop, exclamation mark or question mark (in academic writing, there's no need for an exclamation mark and rarely a question mark)
Sentences are made of clauses
Clauses contain at the very least a subject and a verb
"The sky is blue"
"Orla cycled to school"
Sentences can be short or long, but longer sentences will need joining words like "and" "but" and "then" (called conjunctions") or commas or other punctuation marks to separate clauses.
"James didn’t go to work yesterday because he had a headache" - "because" joins together two clauses - "James didn't go to work yesterday" + "he had a headache"
"I’ll take the train and you can take the car" "and" joins together two clauses "I'll take the train" + "you can take the car"
Run-on sentences are when two clauses that can stand by themselves are joined without using conjunctions or punctuation marks
"I have to go to the library I need to return a book"
1st clause - "I have to go to the library"
2nd clause "I need to return a book"
"I have to go to the library because I need to return a book" - one sentence, clauses joined by "because"
"I have to go to the library. I need to return a book" two shorter sentences
If your sentences are longer than a couple of lines, check that they make sense - that clauses are joined with conjunctions or proper punctuation