Could you please tell me if the following sentence is a run-on or
correct but clunky:
After beginning the day in a wonderful mood, I was rushed to the hospital
for stitches in my left foot which I received when I broke a glass
and stepped on a small piece of broken fragments, and then the day
This was in an exercise to determine if sentences were fragments,
run-ons, or sentences.
Posted 24 February 2003
Although clunky, with a misplaced modifier, and too long, the sentence
can be interpreted as correct, according to the definition of a complex-compound
A compound-complex sentence joins a compound and a complex sentence.
It contains two or more independent clauses, and one or more dependent
In your sentence, "I was rushed" and "the day became
worse" are the two independent clauses, joined by "and."
A dependent adverb phrase, "after beginning the day in a wonderful
mood," is correctly placed; "to the hospital," "for
stitches," and "in my left foot" are prepositional phrases
properly placed; "which I received" is an adjective clause
NOT PROPERLY PLACED or NOT PROPERLY WORDED; "when I broke a glass
and stepped on a small piece of broken fragments" is an adverb
clause, properly placed.
There are no fragments, and the sentence does not fit the definition
of run-on (more than one sentence, improperly joined by commas) or
fused (more than one sentence joined without appropriate punctuation).
However, the sentence contains a serious misplacement of the adjective
clause "which I received." As the sentence stands, this clauses
modifies "my left foot" and according to how the sentence
reads, the writer received her left foot only when she "broke
a glass and stepped on a small piece of broken fragments"!
Obviously, this is not logical. The author of the sentence correctly
describes the sentence as "clunky." The sentence should be
broken up into two or three sentences. Depending upon the timing of "become
worse," here are two examples of less clunky passages:
After beginning the day in a wonderful mood, I was rushed to the
hospital for injuries to in my left foot. I had broken a glass
on a small piece of its broken fragments, badly cutting my left
foot, which then required several stitches. Then the day became
After beginning the day in a wonderful mood, the day quickly became
worse. I broke a glass, stepped on a small piece of its broken fragments,
badly cut my left foot, and was rushed to the hospital, where I received
several stitches to my foot.