GED Language Arts (RLA) : Run-On Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Language Arts (RLA)

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Example Questions

Example Question #2993 : Sat Writing

Although a work of fiction, Mariama Bâ's 1979 novel, So Long a Letter is also, in a sense, a manifesto of the female African experience, one that has all too often been consigned to a footnote in history books. Within the overarching colonial narrative of African marginalization, black women have been marginalized farther. In their respective accounts, Jomo Kenyatta and Franz Fanon put their own words in the mouths of female subjects: in more objective histories, women are hardly spoken of at all. By taking a comparative approach, however, the history of African women in the colonial and post-colonial eras can be patched together into something comprehensible. With Bâ’s voice as a guide, a more complex narrative comes out of the darkness of historical silence and bias to revealing significant degrees of female agency and expression.

Replace the bolded and underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Possible Answers:

subjects, being in more

subjects: in more

subjects in more

subjects, in more

subjects; in more

Correct answer:

subjects; in more

Explanation:

The full sentence given here combines two separate complete sentences, which calls for a semicolon or a comma followed by a conjunction. A colon, as used in the original phrase, indicates that the second sentence is the result or an example of the first, whereas in actuality they are two related but separate thoughts. A comma would create a run-on sentence, as would the lack of any punctuation. Finally, “subjects, being in more” confuses the meaning of the sentence. “Subjects; in more” must be the correct choice.

Example Question #1 : Run On Sentences

1 I have always detested exploring caves, I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby. 2 However, what happened last week that made me revise my opinion which was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge. 3 When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave I was immediately filled with trepidation therefore, I said I would stay outside. 4 Much to my surprise, a rainstorm came up forcing me inside to seek shelter. 5 Inside the cave, instead of macabre stalactites and enormous spiders, which I was expecting, I saw the most beautiful crystalline structures, the likes of which I’d never seen before. 6 The sheer pulchritude completely transformed my opinion on caves, I would not denigrate them again.

What is the correct way to rewrite Sentence 2?

Possible Answers:

However I revised my opinion last week, was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge.

However, what happened last week made me revise my opinion which was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge.

However, I revised my opinion last week after going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge.

However last week made me revise my opinion which was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge.

However, that made me revise my opinion last week, which was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge.

Correct answer:

However, I revised my opinion last week after going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge.

Explanation:

Sentence 2 contains a misplaced modifier and is lacking a comma. The best approach to this sentence is simply to rewrite it altogether, removing the misplaced modifier (“which was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge” incorrectly described “my opinion”). A comma is necessary after “However,” which is an introductory word.

Example Question #2 : Run On Sentences

1 I have always detested exploring caves, I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby. 2 However, what happened last week that made me revise my opinion which was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge. 3 When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave I was immediately filled with trepidation therefore, I said I would stay outside. 4 Much to my surprise, a rainstorm came up forcing me inside to seek shelter. 5 Inside the cave, instead of macabre stalactites and enormous spiders, which I was expecting, I saw the most beautiful crystalline structures, the likes of which I’d never seen before. 6 The sheer pulchritude completely transformed my opinion on caves, I would not denigrate them again.

What is the correct way to rewrite Sentence 1?

Possible Answers:

I have always detested exploring caves; I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby.

I have always detested exploring caves, but, I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby.

I have always detested exploring caves; because I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby.

(no change)

I have always detested exploring caves and I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby.

Correct answer:

I have always detested exploring caves; I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a comma splice: the incorrect usage of a comma to separate two independent clauses. The correct punctuation between two independent clauses is either a semicolon or a comma with a conjunction word.

Example Question #3 : Run On Sentences

1 I have always detested exploring caves, I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby. 2 However, what happened last week that made me revise my opinion which was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge. 3 When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave I was immediately filled with trepidation therefore, I said I would stay outside. 4 Much to my surprise, a rainstorm came up forcing me inside to seek shelter. 5 Inside the cave, instead of macabre stalactites and enormous spiders, which I was expecting, I saw the most beautiful crystalline structures, the likes of which I’d never seen before. 6 The sheer pulchritude completely transformed my opinion on caves, I would not denigrate them again.

What is the correct way to rewrite Sentence 3?

Possible Answers:

When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave; I was immediately filled with trepidation; I said I would stay outside.

When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave I was immediately filled with trepidation, therefore I said I would stay outside.

When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave, I was immediately filled with trepidation; therefore I said I would stay outside.

(no change)

When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave, I was immediately filled with trepidation; therefore, I said I would stay outside.

Correct answer:

When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave, I was immediately filled with trepidation; therefore, I said I would stay outside.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a comma splice: the incorrect usage of a comma to separate two independent clauses. The correct punctuation between two independent clauses is either a semicolon or a comma with a conjunction word. The sentence also lacks a comma between “cave” and “I,” as we’re separating an independent clause from a dependent clause.

Example Question #1 : Run On Sentences

1 I have always detested exploring caves, I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby. 2 However, what happened last week that made me revise my opinion which was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge. 3 When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave I was immediately filled with trepidation therefore, I said I would stay outside. 4 Much to my surprise, a rainstorm came up forcing me inside to seek shelter. 5 Inside the cave, instead of macabre stalactites and enormous spiders, which I was expecting, I saw the most beautiful crystalline structures, the likes of which I’d never seen before. 6 The sheer pulchritude completely transformed my opinion on caves, I would not denigrate them again.

What is the correct way to rewrite Sentence 4?

Possible Answers:

Much to my surprise a rainstorm came up; forcing me inside to seek shelter.

Much to my surprise, a rainstorm came up; forcing me inside to seek shelter.

Much to my surprise, a rainstorm came up forcing me inside to seek shelter.

Much to my surprise a rainstorm came up, forcing me inside to seek shelter.

(no change)

Correct answer:

Much to my surprise, a rainstorm came up forcing me inside to seek shelter.

Explanation:

The original version of Sentence 4 correctly separates “Much to my surprise,” an introductory phrase, from the rest of the sentence; however, it does not separate the other dependent clause, “forcing me inside to seek shelter,” as it should. Add a comma between “up” and “forcing” to punctuate the sentence correctly.

Example Question #5 : Run On Sentences

1 I have always detested exploring caves, I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby. 2 However, what happened last week that made me revise my opinion which was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge. 3 When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave I was immediately filled with trepidation therefore, I said I would stay outside. 4 Much to my surprise, a rainstorm came up forcing me inside to seek shelter. 5 Inside the cave, instead of macabre stalactites and enormous spiders, which I was expecting, I saw the most beautiful crystalline structures, the likes of which I’d never seen before. 6 The sheer pulchritude completely transformed my opinion on caves, I would not denigrate them again.

What is the correct way to rewrite Sentence 5?

Possible Answers:

Inside the cave, I saw, instead of macabre stalactites and enormous spiders, which I was expecting; the most beautiful crystalline structures the likes of which I’d never seen before.

Inside the cave, I saw the most beautiful crystalline structures (the likes of which I’d never seen before) instead of the macabre stalactites and enormous spiders I was expecting.

(no change)

Inside the cave instead of macabre stalactites and enormous spiders that I was expecting, I saw the likes of which I’d never seen before: the most beautiful crystalline structures.

Inside the cave, instead of the macabre stalactites and enormous spiders which I was expecting I saw the most beautiful crystalline structures, the likes of which I’d never seen before.

Correct answer:

Inside the cave, I saw the most beautiful crystalline structures (the likes of which I’d never seen before) instead of the macabre stalactites and enormous spiders I was expecting.

Explanation:

This sentence contains too many dependent clauses and is clunky to read. Simplify it by moving and condensing the clauses and putting excess material in parenthesis.

Example Question #6 : Run On Sentences

1 I have always detested exploring caves, I believe spelunking is an eerie and unpleasant hobby. 2 However, what happened last week that made me revise my opinion which was going hiking with my friends and stumbling upon a vast unexplored gorge. 3 When we came across the mouth of a dark, grim cave I was immediately filled with trepidation therefore, I said I would stay outside. 4 Much to my surprise, a rainstorm came up forcing me inside to seek shelter. 5 Inside the cave, instead of macabre stalactites and enormous spiders, which I was expecting, I saw the most beautiful crystalline structures, the likes of which I’d never seen before. 6 The sheer pulchritude completely transformed my opinion on caves, I would not denigrate them again.

What is the correct way to rewrite Sentence 6?

Possible Answers:

(no change)

The sheer pulchritude completely transformed my opinion on caves but I would not denigrate them again.

The sheer pulchritude completely transformed my opinion, on caves; and I would not denigrate them again.

The sheer pulchritude completely transformed my opinion on caves; I would not denigrate them again.

The sheer pulchritude, completely transforming my opinion on caves, I would not denigrate them again

Correct answer:

The sheer pulchritude completely transformed my opinion on caves; I would not denigrate them again.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a comma splice: the incorrect usage of a comma to separate two independent clauses. The correct punctuation between two independent clauses is either a semicolon or a comma with a conjunction word. (“Pulchritude” means beauty and “denigrate” means disparage.)

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