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Author: Kathy Hanley

    Introduce fragments. 


    Explain how to find fragments and how to fix them.


This packet should help a learner seeking to understand English syntax and who is who has made mistakes with sentence fragments. It will explain what fragments are and how to avoid them.

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Sentence Fragments

A sentence fragment is a group of words which are punctuated as a sentence but lack the necessary elements of a sentence: an independent clause that contains a complete subject and verb.  A sentence needs to make sense and carry meaning.  Sentence fragments do not do that.

Sentence fragments are often subordinate clauses that are punctuated as idependent clauses.  A subordinate clause will have a subject and verb, but will start with a word that creates a fragment

Often sentence fragments occur when a phrase that belongs in the previous sentence is punctuated as a sentence by itself.

Wordsand phrases that you can use as clues that you may have a fragment include: although, because, for example, as a result, instead of, etc.

Reading your writing aloud will really help you with sentence errors.  Your ear will catch your mistakes


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Correcting Fragments



Below are examples and corrections.  The fragment is in blue.

Example #1

The war waged on from many years.  Even though there were many peace talks.

The war waged on from many years even though there were many peace talks.

It is evident that the subordinate clause belongs with the sentence.  They can simply be combined.  When the subordinate clause is at the end of a sentence, it does not need a comma before it.

Example #2

Because Mary left the party early.  She missed the big surprise.

Because Mary left the party early, she missed the big surprise.

Notice that when the subordinate clause begins the sentence, it is separated from the main clause with a comma.

Example #3

She wanted to travel to Paris.  Never thinking about what it might cost.

She wanted to travle to Paris, but she did not think about what it would cost.

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