STAAR EOC Test: Writing : Comma Splices

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for STAAR EOC Test: Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Comma Splices

Are you trying to stick to a budget? Using coupons for purchases, also known as “couponing” is a great way to save money on groceries. Coupons are a little piece of paper that can give you a discount on what you buy. You will be amazed at the great bargains and amazing savings you can get!

It’s easy to get started. When you open up your daily newspaper, one might find a glossy insert full of coupons. Some of the coupons will be for things you don’t buy, some will be for things you buy all the time. Go through the coupons and chop out the ones you can use.

The key to successful couponing is getting multiple copies of coupon circulars. Ask your friends, your neighbors, and family if they have any extras. Some coupon users even go through the recycling at their office to find more coupons! Have you ever heard of such a thing in your life! Completely devoted, these circulars help coupon users to get even more savings.

Couponing might sound like hard work, but for many people, it’s also a hobby. Not only does it help them save hundreds of dollars per year, but also it gives them a fun challenge every time they do their shopping.

Select the answer that would best correct the underlined and bolded portion of the passage.

Possible Answers:

Some of the coupons will be for things you don’t buy but some will be for things you buy all the time.

Some of the coupons will be for things you don’t buy and some will be for things you buy all the time.

(no change)

Some of the coupons will be for things you don’t buy some will be for things you buy all the time.

Some of the coupons will be for things you don’t buy, but some will be for things you buy all the time.

Correct answer:

Some of the coupons will be for things you don’t buy, but some will be for things you buy all the time.

Explanation:

A comma splice occurs when two complete sentences are joined with just a comma. Obviously, in this question you are being asked to correct such an error. You have two options to correct a comma splice. You can either replace the comma with a period to create two complete sentences, or you can use a comma and a conjunction. In this context, the second sentence provides a contrast to the first sentence, so it is appropriate to use a comma and the conjunction “but.” Eliminating the comma creates a run-on sentence even if the conjunction "but" is added. The use of the conjunction "and" is grammatically correct, but it is not as strong a choice since it does not communicate the contrast between the two sentences. 

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