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Sentence Fragments

Aug 30, 2022
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  1. Because of extreme heat. 

The sentence is incapable of conveying a complete thought. Therefore, it looks like an incomplete sentence. 

  1. Since I have read this book. 

This sentence also does not convey a single thought. Though it stands alone, it appears like a string of words randomly woven together. 

We know that a sentence is a group of words, which is complete  in itself and makes complete sense. A given group of words can be deemed a sentence if it has the following three major components: a subject, a verb, and a complete thought

Looking back at the so-called “sentences” given above, they seem to lack one of the three major components: a complete thought

A group of words that appears to be a sentence but is not a complete sentence is called a sentence fragment. It is an incomplete sentence. In fact, it is just a string of words that cannot convey a complete thought as one of the required components of the sentence is missing. Simply, a sentence fragment is a clause that falls short of being a true sentence because it lacks one of three major components: a subject, a verb, and a complete thought. 

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We frequently fail to recognize sentence fragments, and it is one of the most common errors we tend to make in our writing. All a series of words requires is a capital at the start and end punctuationin order toappear as a sentence. However, in order for a sentence to be truly complete, it must include an independent clause that tells the entire story even when separated from its context. 

Let us take a look at some tips on how to turn a sentence fragment into a complete sentence. 

Tip 1: 

Read the sentence fragment: 

If you do not see me on time. 

This fragment doesn’t convey a complete thought. It leaves the readers wondering what should be done if you do not see me on time. Therefore, for the given fragment to make sense, we need further explanation: 

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If you do not see me on time, you people can go to the movie without me. 

Now, the given sentence fragment has become a subordinate clause that got attached to a sentence that has a subject (you people) and a verb (can go). 

Always remember to add a comma to separate a dependent clause and an independent clause, if the former appears first. 

More examples: 

  • While I was studying, my friend visited me. 
  • We were playing football when you called us. 

Tip 2: 

Read the fragment: 

Will talk to you later. 

This fragment doesn’t have a subject. Therefore, we need to add one so that there is no ambiguity: 

I/he/she will talk to you later. 

Here, we revised the given fragment and added the missing component. Some fragments will be devoid of a subject, some a verb, and some a complete thought. Revise the fragment and add the necessary one so that they turn into complete sentences. 

Examples: 

  • My puppy loves ice-cream. 
  • I will get back to you. 

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