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9_8 Run-on Sentences: Fun With Grammar

Develop your sentence-building muscles by writing a two-hundred word sentence. Work with a partner if you'd like to. Here are the rules:

1. The sentence must contain no more than two independent clauses. The other words must be single-word modifiers or groups of words in prepositional phrases, verbal phrases, or dependent clauses.

2. Compound sentence parts are fine, but not plain old lists.

3. The sentence must be grammatically correct. It can be a "run off at the mouth" sentence, but not a run-on!
HINT: Don't start your sentence with the subject; try beginning with a word that ends in -ing.

4. Stop after 5 minutes and count your words. If you are in a class, take turns reading your sentences aloud, getting the class to judge whether each one has followed all three rules.

5. Among the sentences that still qualify, count the words. The one with the most words wins the prize for quantity. Get the class to vote for the sentence that is the most interesting. That's the one that wins the prize for quality.

Click here to see an example of a good 200-word sentence and a picture of a man who can fly.

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