Recognize Sentence Fragments

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Often when writing quickly it is fairly easy to overlook protocol in grammar and write a sentence as one speaks. This may cause one to write a sentence fragment. A ‘sentence fragment’ is an error that occurs when an incomplete sentence is punctuated as though it were complete. One should look for three main aspects when reviewing work for sentence fragments.

 First, look for a group of words without a subject. In English a sentence is usually written in the order of Subject Verb Object. If the subject noun is missing then you will know you have a fragment.

 Then look for a group of words without a predicate, especially a group that contains a verbal or a verbal phrase. Another word for a predicate is a verb phrase and for a group of words to be a sentence it must have a verb. If it doesn’t then it is a fragment.

 Finally be sure you haven’t punctuated a subordinate clause as if it were a complete sentence. Some proeple think that by punctuating a sentence it makes it correct, without conforming to the conventions or syntax of the language.

 Many times, you can correct a sentence fragment by attaching it to a clause. Other times, you may need to add words to make the sentence complete. EG. (Fragment) Danielle is on the basketball team. Played for fun as a child. (Complete Sentence) Danielle is on the basketball team. She played for fun as a child.


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