Grammar Tips: Identifying & Correcting Sentence Fragments

4 Feb

What is a sentence fragment? 

A sentence fragment contains no independent clause. It fails to be a sentence because it lacks the necessary components to stand on its own. Sentence fragments can be difficult to recognize for a number of reasons:  

  1. The fragment may locate something in time and place while still lacking a proper subject-verb relationship within an independent clause. 
    1. Example: In my room, under the bed. 
    2. Correct: The book is in my room, under the bed. 
  2. The fragment may describe something without a proper subject-verb relationship. 
    1. Example: Running up the hill as quickly as he could. 
    2. Correct: He took off running up the hill as quickly as he could. 
  3. The fragment may be a mostly complete sentence while still missing an important piece. 
    1. Example: Some of the students in the nursing program. 
    2. Correct: Some of the students in the nursing program will graduate soon. 
  4. The fragment has an appropriate subject-verb relationship, but it includes a dependent word and needs more work before it can stand on itself. 
    1. Example: Even though the lawyer was prepared. 
    2. Correct: Even though the lawyer was prepared, the case was postponed. 

In all of the above examples, more information is needed to make the sentence complete. When evaluating your own work for sentence fragments, try reading the paper out loud. Make sure that each sentence has a subject and a verb, and that each sentence fully communicates the main idea. For more practice recognizing and correcting sentence fragments, click here!

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3 Responses to “Grammar Tips: Identifying & Correcting Sentence Fragments”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Word Crimes! | The Christ College Writing Center - August 27, 2014

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  2. Back to the Basics: How to Recognize Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, and Adverbs | The Christ College Writing Center - June 24, 2015

    […] order to understand something like Subject/Verb Agreement, the proper way to use Pronouns, or even Identifying and Correcting Sentence Fragments, it is important to fully master some of the basic elements of grammar. This can be difficult for […]

  3. Grammar Tips: Winter Review! | The Christ College Writing Center - December 9, 2015

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