What is a Fragment?
A fragment is an incomplete sentence: it lacks either a subject, a verb, or both. Most fragments need to add a conjunction or to delete a preposition to become a complete sentence. A complete sentence has:
- A subject: the actor in the sentence.
- A verb: the action posed by the subject.
- A complete thought: it makes sense; it can stand alone.
Examples of Fragments:
- After the rain stops. (What will happen?)
- Since you asked the question. (You receive an answer?)
- If you want to come with me. (What should I do?)
- For the player to score. (What does he have to do?)
These sentences are incomplete because of the conjunctions/prepositions they use at the beginning: after, since, if, for.
How to find and fix fragments:
To eliminate fragments, writers should either delete these conjunctions/prepositions or join the fragments with other clauses to indicate a logical relationship.
- After the rain stops, John will ride his bike.
- Since you asked the question, an expert will come over to answer it for the whole class.
- If you want to come with me, you must be prepared to bring your passport.
- For the player to score, he must receive the pass in a split of a second.
A checklist to remember:
- Remember the basics: subject, verb, complete thought.
- If you have a conjunction, identify which part goes with it; that is the dependent clause.
- Make sure the dependent clause (incomplete thought) is attached to an independent clause (complete thought).
Because his car was in the shop (Dependent clause) + John took the bus (Independent clause) = Because his car was in the shop, John took the bus.
Kaylan | 2016
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