nonverbal communication

1

I have a run on sentence

See example:

When a customer would approach that individual they would nod heads as if they was stating "How are you doing" Words would be spoken as yes sir or no sir by the movement of their lips.
asked Mar 26 '12 at 18:52 mortricia ray New member

A customer and individual approached and nodded heads stating, 'How are you doing?' Their lips mouthed, 'yes sir' or 'no sir,' and were the only words used, though also a means of silent communication. (Maybe?)

Moira CroleyMar 26 '12 at 22:21

When a customer would approach, nods would be exchanged as if to say "How are you doing?" "Yes sir" and "No sir" were simply mouthed in silence.

Janet Kay JensenMar 27 '12 at 03:26

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3 answers


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Yes, your example is a run-on sentence.  It can be corrected by adding a period after "... you doing" and before "Words ...".  Another solution would be to use a semi-colon (;) instead of a period. In this case, "words" would start with a lower-case "W". (The comma + conjunction solution doesn't fit well given the sentences are already long.)

 

Number agreement. "Customer" is singular but  "they" is plural.  This error often occurs when trying to avoid using "he" or "she". Either change "a customer" to the plural "customers" or use a singular pronoun such as "he" or "she". If the subject remains the singular "customer", the singular verb "was stating" is okay. But if it is changed to agree with the plural "they", the verb needs to be "were stating". And since "How are you doing" is an implied quesation, we would say "... were asking "How are you doing?"

 

"Spoken" and "by the movement of their lips" is somewhat redundant. You can say the samething more concisely --> "Yes sir" or "No sir" were the only words spoken aloud.

 

"When customers approach that individual they would nod heads as if they were asking "How are you doing?" "Yes sir" or "No sir" were the only words spoken aloud."

link comment answered Mar 26 '12 at 19:26 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow
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It's a run-on. Here's a suggestion:

When a customer would approach, nods would be exchanged as if to say, "How are you doing?" "Yes sir" and "No sir" were simply mouthed in silence.

link comment answered Mar 27 '12 at 05:34 Janet Kay Jensen New member
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When a customer would approach that individual they would nod heads as if they was stating "How are you doing" Words would be spoken as yes sir or no sir by the movement of their lips.

 

There are a number of issues with that portion.  The way to get rid of the main run-on would be to place a period or question mark after doing.  The way to get rid of the other run-on would be to insert a comma after individual, since that is a clause.

 

When a customer would approach that individual, they would nod heads as if they was stating "How are you doing?" Words would be spoken as yes sir or no sir by the movement of their lips.

 

Was is a singular verb, but the subject they is plural.  Also customer and individual are singular, so if you intend to use "they" to mean both the customer and the employee, you should clarify that.

 

Stating is not used with questions.

 

When a customer would approach that individual, both would nod heads as if they were asking "How are you doing?" Words would be spoken as yes sir or no sir by the movement of their lips.

 

Then you should probably clarify the last sentence some more.  The phrases "yes sir" and "no sir" should be in quotes, and it can be reworded and simplified.

 

They silently mouthed "Yes sir" and "No sir."

link comment answered Mar 28 '12 at 05:33 Courtney Contributor

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