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It is easy to understand what some of the fears might be about having a girl on an all-male team, particularly one that places such an emphasis on direct physical contact.

How is the quote not a run-on? How is it a sentence?

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It's not a run-on sentence because the portion after the comma contains a relative pronoun one, which refers back to all-male team, making this a bound relative clause.

Alternatively, it could have been written with a dash instead of a comma, but the comma is fine. In order for this to be a run-on, the statement after the comma would have to be an autonomous, complete sentence, and it isn't.

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  • what is the subject of the sentence? Is to understand the subject? If "to understand" is the subject, wouldn't the sentence be run-on? – user8959 Jul 24 '14 at 13:17
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    Actually there is no subject -it's impersonal. However, English requires that EVERY sentence have a subject, so we use the so-called "dummy subject" - it. This is the same dummy subject seen in "It's raining" - who's raining? Nobody. It's impersonal. – CocoPop Jul 24 '14 at 13:39
  • is "one that places such an emphasis on direct physical contact" a complete sentence? if not, why and wouldn't it have to be a complete sentence? – user8959 Jul 24 '14 at 16:26
  • No, that entire thing is a noun phrase, which could be the the subject or object of a complete sentence: "One who places such an emphasis on direct physical contact probably lacked that contact during his formative years." – CocoPop Jul 24 '14 at 17:02
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I'd say it's not a run-on sentence because it only has two clauses, albeit long ones. If it went on for more than that, the author would risk tying too many ideas together and making the point difficult to understand. I'm quite partial to the double dash in place of the comma in this type of sentence--to me, it signals that it might be helpful to pause to consider the beginning of the sentence before moving on.

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  • I don't think that is right, a run-on sentence can have two clauses. <--- That one for instance is a "comma splice" run-on sentence. – Dangph Jul 24 '14 at 2:27

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