Is the sentence (in the description) a run-on sentence, sentence fragment, or a complete sentence?

The boy fell, his mom picked him up.

1 Answer

its a run on sentence.


Since the two actions in the sentence are not joined by conjunction or other words, it is a run on sentence.

Technically, I believe it's more of a "comma fault" - using a comma instead of a semi-colon to separate two independent clauses.

There are two complete thoughts here - two independent clauses, each of which can stand alone as a sentence:
The boy fell.
His mom picked him up.

OR they can be separated by a semi-colon:
The boy fell; his mom picked him up.

"The boy fell, and then his mother picked him up." is another correct way to express this.

Here's some information from

run-on sentence definition . A grammatically faulty sentence in which two or more main or independent clauses are joined without a word to connect them or a punctuation mark to separate them: “The fog was thick he could not find his way home.”

And here's some from Wikipedia:

Comma splice
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"In English grammar, a comma splice or comma fault [1][2] is the use of a comma to join two independent clauses. For example:

'It is nearly half past five, we cannot reach town before dark.'
[Note 1]"

Here are the footnotes from the Wikipedia article:

Examples are adapted from the online, public-domain 1918 edition of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. [3]

[1] Wilson, Kenneth (2005). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. Columbia University Press. p. 102. ISBN 9780585041483.
[2] Follett, Wilson; Wensberg, Erik (1998). Modern American Usage: A Guide . Macmillan. p. 269. ISBN 9780809001392.
[3] Strunk, William (1918) . The Elements of Style . New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company (via Project Gutenberg).