Fragment means piece! A sentence fragment is a group of words, only a piece of a sentence, pretending to be a sentence… A sentence needs 3 things: it must have a subject and a verb and it must be a complete thought. Thought he was alone is a fragment, it has no subject. She alone in the house is a fragment, it has no verb. • He thought he was alone. is a complete sentence. • She was alone in the house. is a complete sentence.
What causes fragments? • Dependent word fragments • - “ing” and “to” fragments • Added detail fragments • Missing subject fragments
Dependent word fragment A dependent-word fragment is created when a dependent word such as after, since or whoever begins a sentence, but leaves you hanging because there is no independent clause to finish the sentence. • After her boyfriend left • Since he made his first million • Whoever opened my mail are all dependent-word fragments. To correct them, an independent clause is needed. • After her boyfriend left, she could not sleep. • Since he made his first million, he’s been a snob. • Whoever opened my mail is very nosy. These are no longer fragments, they are now complete sentences.
“ing” and “to” fragments An –ing fragment happens when an –ing word is near the start of a word group which follows a sentence but has no subject. “He was still in the house. Trying to find his keys.” You can correct it by putting a comma after house and making the capital letter a small one instead: • “He was still in the house, trying to find his keys.” • Or you can make it two sentences: • “He was still in the house. He was trying to find his keys.” • A “to” fragment is similar: • “Juanita went to the store. To buy some tortillas.” • The easiest way to fix it is to make it one sentence: • “Juanita went to the store to buy some tortillas.”
“added detail fragments” An “added detail” fragment lacks a subject and a verb. They often begin with a word like: alsoespeciallyexcept for example includingsuch as “My car has problems. For example, a broken windshield.” To fix it, all you need to do is put a comma after problems and make the F a lower case letter: “My car has problems, for example, a broken windshield.
“Missing subject fragments” Missing subject fragments are missing a subject. Well, duh! “My dog loves to stick out his tongue. And drool all over the place.” There a two ways to fix this fragment: • First, make it all one sentence by dropping the period and the capital letter: “My dog loves to stick out his tongue and drool all over the place.” • Or make it two complete sentences: • “My dog loves to stick out his tongue. He drool all over the place.”
So don’t beFrustrated by Fragments Just proofread for a sentence that is missing a subject or a verb and you are well on your way to “fixing that fragment.”