What Is a Sentence Fragment?

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Fragments are small parts of any broken material like those in clay pots, mirrors, or windows. In terms of descriptive writing, essay writing, or technical writing, how can you compare a group of words to a broken material fragment? Sentence fragments can be likened to a puzzle that is not complete. Sentence fragments only have half of the pieces of a puzzle. It does not have every piece because it does not create the complete and whole picture.

1. Grammar and Mechanics Sentence Fragments

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2. Sentence Fragment Run-ons

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3. Rules for Finding and Fixing Sentence Fragments

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4. Sentence Fragment Exercise Example

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5. Sentence Fragments Handout

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6. Sentence Fragments Skills

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7. Fixing Sentence Fragments

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8. Sentence Fragments Self Test

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9. Correcting Sentence Fragments

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10. Avoiding Sentence Fragments

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11. Identifying and Correcting Sentence Fragments

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12. Automatic Detection of Sentence Fragments

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13. Eliminating Sentence Fragments

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14. Sentence Fragments Definition

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What Is a Sentence Fragment?

To simply put, sentence fragments are similarly structured simple sentences but are actually not. A sentence fragment is a group of words that is punctuated like a declarative sentence, exclamatory sentenceimperative sentence, or interrogative sentence. However, it does not express a complete thought.

How to Identify a Sentence Fragment

How to identify a sentence fragment? We know for a fact that a sentence fragment is a group of words that lack a subject, a verb, a predicate, or an idea. In order to identify the sentence fragment, here are tips to help you figure out or identify a sentence fragment out.

Step 1: A Missing Subject or Thought

You are able to tell whether or not your sentence is a sentence fragment when there is no simple subject or thought in it. Basically, this will mean that your sentence does not make any sense or there is something that is missing to complete the sentence.

Step 2: A Missing Linking Verb

If the sentence has a subject but it has no linking verb, it is still considered a fragment. As the use of a verb is to link the subject to the predicate in the sentence. If there is only a subject and a predicate but there is no linking verb, it is not a complete sentence.

Step 3: More Dependent Clauses than Independent Clauses

The key to see whether or not your sentences fall as fragments, you can tell by the fact that there are more dependent clauses over independent clauses. We know that an independent clause can stand on its own, and is still considered as a complete sentence. However, a dependent clause is different, as it cannot stand alone and lets your sentence look and sound like a fragmented sentence.

Step 4: Prepositional Phrases

Find the prepositional phrases in your sentences. These prepositional phrases are: such, at, for, to, with). They describe the relationship between two things in your sentences. They are part of a sentence but they cannot be used to make your sentence stand alone.

FAQs

What makes a sentence fragment?

A group of words becomes sentence fragments when it lacks a subject, a predicate, and a complete thought. A group of words is considered a fragment when it lacks a subject. This sentence fragment does not tell who or what the sentence is talking about.

Why should I avoid using sentence fragments in my writing?

Using sentence fragments in your writing can make your work difficult to read and understand. A sentence fragment may not convey a clear message to your reader, and it may leave them confused about what you are trying to say. Therefore, it is best to use complete sentences with a subject and verb that express a complete thought.

How can I fix a sentence fragment?

To fix a sentence fragment, you need to add a subject or a verb or combine it with another sentence to make a complete thought. One way to fix a sentence fragment is to add a subject and verb to it. For example, the sentence fragment “Running through the park.” can be fixed by adding a subject and verb to make it a complete sentence: “I enjoy running through the park.” Alternatively, you can also join sentence fragments together to form a complete sentence by using a conjunction or a relative pronoun.

Writing a sentence can be quite tricky since there are times where writing sentence fragments are unavoidable. A sentence should contain a subject, a verb, and a complete thought which makes up an independent clause. There should be one independent clause in order to convert a group of words into a sentence. However, fragment sentences can never have independent clauses– it only has dependent clauses or phrases.

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