Sentence Fragments

Sentence Fragments

Sentence Fragments

Sentence Fragments

Vocabulary Terms

A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought. A sentence fragment does not express a complete thought and often lacks a subject, a verb, or both

Literature Connection 

A fragment is an incomplete part of something. A sentence fragment is a word or group of words that is only part of a sentence. People often use sentence fragments in conversation, as in the quotation from “Catch the Moon.”

“‘Home by ten. She did say something about a curfew, Luis.’ Mr. CintrΓ³ n had stopped smiling and was looking upset.’’

—Judith Ortiz Cofer, from “Catch the Moon”

Although the fragment Home by ten lacks both a verb and a subject. Luis understands that Mr. Cintr Γ³n is reminding him of his curfew. Sometimes, however, a fragment that leaves out important information can be confusing.

  • Problem 1
    Word group missing a subject, a verb, or both
    Needs a new hubcap. [lacks a subject]
    Only three hubcaps on the car. [lacks a verb]

    Solution
    Add the missing subject and/or verb.
    The car needs a new hubcap.
    The car only has three hubcaps.

  • Problem 2
    Subordinate clause that does not express a complete thought
    Because the judge sentenced him to work in the junkyard.

    Solution A
    Join the subordinate clause to a main clause.
    Luis was helping his father because the judge sentenced him to work in the junkyard.

    Solution B
    Remove the subordinating conjunction at the beginning of the clause.
    The judge sentenced him to work in the junkyard.

Sentence Fragments Quiz

Decide whether each of the following group of words is a sentence or sentence fragment.

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