Separate independent clauses with a comma only when they are joined by a coordinating conjunction.
This is not as complicated as it sounds. A comma splice occurs when you use a comma without and, but, for, nor, or, so, or yet (these are the coordinating conjunctions) when joining two clauses. Grammar-checkers won't always catch comma splices; however, you can correct a comma splice by dividing the two clauses into separate sentences, by replacing the comma with a semicolon, by subordinating one of the clauses, or by adding a coordinating conjunction.
1. It snowed all night, none of the paths were plowed this morning.
[Comma splice. Try two sentences: It snowed all night. None of the paths were plowed this morning.]
2. The students looked sleepier than usual, they had sat up most of the night studying for the exam.
[Comma splice. Try a coordinating conjunction: The students looked sleepier than usual, for they had....]
3. I have been proofreading this paper all day, I can no longer see my errors.
[Apparently. Comma splice. Try subordinating the first clause: Because I have been proofreading this paper all day, I can no longer....]
4. She had eaten nothing but lettuce all week, however she still couldn't fit into her black pants.
[Comma splice. Try a semicolon: She had eaten nothing but lettuce all week; however, she still.... Note that however is a conjunctive adverb, not a coordinating conjunction. See Semicolon ("semi") for other conjunctive adverbs.]
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|Fri.||10 a.m. - 2 p.m.|
|Sun.||noon - 10 p.m.|
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