General Writing and Grammar Help/Run-on sentences.


Would you put a comma or semicolon between these two sentences?  
We are at a critical milestone, I cannot be more serious.  I'm thinking semicolon between it's two independent sentences not combined with a conjunction.  Your thoughts?

Thanks, Elaine, for your question. I hope you ask more.

By "these two sentences," I think you mean We are at a critical milestone, I cannot be more serious.

First of all, this is one sentence. A written sentence is any group of words beginning with a capital letter and ending with a period, with no period intervening.

However, that sentence as written is incorrect, because it consists of two independent clauses that are not connected by either a coordinating conjunction (and or or), or by a semicolon. That type of incorrect sentence is sometimes called a run-on sentence.  Correct would be

We are at a critical milestone; I cannot be more serious.

It would also be correct to say
We are at a critical milestone, and I cannot be more serious.

If any of the above is not entirely clear, please submit a follow-up question.  

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Richard Johnson


I specialize in grammar. I can however answer any question except homework questions--usually the same day--concerning English grammar, usage, or (non-fiction) writing style, on the basis of the American practice. All answers are explained, and I encourage follow-up.


I'm a retired editor and a lifelong student of this subject. My library includes a great many works to which I've referred through the years. I currently rely largely on the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style supplemented, where appropriate, by Long, The New College Grammar.

For over 30 years I edited the newsletter of my own organization, which had different names but was last known as

BA, Brooklyn College. Advanced studies in economics and political science.

Awards and Honors
For many years a member of Mensa.

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