Business Grammar: Fused Sentences and Comma Splices

by Mary Cullen on Tue, Jan 25, 2011

This statement contains a business grammar error. Find and correct it: I’m sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Let’s reschedule our meeting. I’m open anytime this Thursday, if there is a particular time that will work best for you let me know.

Should I notify the operations team we need to reschedule, as well?

Correction:

I’m sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Let’s reschedule our meeting. I’m open anytime this Thursday. If there is a particular time that will work best for you let me know. (There should be a full stop – a period – after the word “Thursday,” indicating two separate sentences.)

Should I notify the operations team we need to reschedule, as well?

Explanation:

Fused sentences and comma splices were, by far, the most common business writing grammar we saw in client writing last year. This particular error is increasing. A fused sentence, also called a comma splice error, incorrectly merges independent clauses with a comma.

Solution:

Do not merge two independent clauses together with only a comma. Each thought, “I’m open any time Thursday.” and “If there is a particular time…” should be its own sentence. Other typical examples of incorrectly fused sentences/comma splices are:

  • Thanks for your advice, it’s exactly what I needed.
  • These proofs are great, thanks for sending them.
  • I will see you on Tuesday, I’m looking forward to our meeting.

FREE GUIDE How to Correct Business Grammar

Correct Your Business Grammar Challenges in this webinar.

Topics: Business Grammar

Mary Cullen

About the author

Mary Cullen

Mary founded Instructional Solutions in 1998, and is an internationally recognized business writing trainer and executive writing coach with two decades of experience helping thousands of individuals and businesses master the strategic skill of business writing. She excels at designing customized business writing training programs to maximize productivity, advance business objectives, and convey complex information. She holds a B.A in English from the University of Rhode Island, a M.A in English Literature from Boston College, and a C.A.G.S. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of New Hampshire.

Read Mary Cullen Full Bio