Comma splice vs fragment
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Comma Splice vs. Fragment . Anna Weis . Comma Splices and Fragments . Comma splices and fragments are among the most common writing errors.

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Comma Splice vs. Fragment

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Comma splice vs fragment

Comma Splice vs. Fragment

Anna Weis


Comma splices and fragments

Comma Splices and Fragments

  • Comma splices and fragments are among the most common writing errors.

  • In addition to being grammatically incorrect, both comma splices and fragments lead to incoherent sentences, which impedes thought and causes loss of purpose and flow.


Fragment

Fragment

  • A fragment is a group of words used as a sentence, but it is not a sentence. It either lacks a subject, a verb, or some other essential part to a sentence. That missing part makes it incomplete.


Examples

Examples

  • #1- Milk all over the table.

    • This phrase lacks a verb. To make it a proper sentence one might add spilled. “Milk spilled all over the table.”

  • #2- When I walk to the store.

    • This clause does not convey a complete thought. What happened when you took a walk? To correct add “When I walk to the store, I always pass my neighbors house.”


Furthermore

Furthermore

  • Another way to correct a fragment is to combine the fragment into a previous sentence.

    • Example: Bob asked, “Is that the Big Ben?” Pointing at the tall building in front of him.

    • CORRECTION: Pointing at the tall building in front of him, Ben asked, “is that Big Ben?”


Take away

Take Away

  • When checking for fragments:

  • Look for a verb.

  • Look for a subject.

  • Look for subordinating conjunctions (when, while, because, etc.) or relative pronouns (who, which, that). Subordinating conjunctions are used to construct dependent adverbial clauses; relative pronouns are used to construct dependent adjectival clauses. If you suspect a passage is a fragment, the presence of these words will likely prove it is.


Comma splices

Comma Splices

  • A comma splice is when two independent clauses are connected with only a comma. This comma is not enough: a period, semicolon, or conjunction is needed.


Examples1

Examples

  • The dog was lying in the hot sun for hours, he began to sweat and show signs of dehydration.

    • Correction: The dog was lying in the hot sun for hours, and he began to sweat and show signs of dehydration (coordination conjunction added)

  • Malcolm X was a very controversial leader in the sixties, many disagreed with his radical ideas.

    • Correction: add semicolon


Take away1

Take Away

  • How to identify comma splices and fused sentences:

  • Look for sentences which explain, expand an idea, or link an example to an idea. Often these are fused.

  • Using pronouns like he, she, they, it, this, or that in the same sentence as the antecedent usually signals a fused sentence or comma splice.

  • Look for conjunctive adverbs (however, furthermore, thus, therefore, etc.) and transitional expressions (for example, on the other hand) often signal fused sentences or comma splices.


Quiz time

QUIZ TIME!


Work cited

Work Cited

  • Sebranek, Patrick, Verne Meyer, and Dave Kemper. Writers Inc. Burlington, WI: Write Source Educational Pub. House, 1992. Print.


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