Common Sentence Errors Fragments, Run-ons and Comma Splices
Sentence Fragments • Fragments are incomplete sentences • Sometimes they are missing a subject, a verb, or both • A sentence fragment is an incomplete thought • Usually, fragments are pieces of sentences that have been disconnected from the main clause. Examples: • I need to find a new roommate. Because the one I have isn’t working out too well. • Whenever I can’t fall to sleep at night. • The beautiful, calm, elegant girl who sits next to me.
Ways to correct fragments: • Add the needed information to the sentence. • Combine the fragment to the main clause. • ** Sometimes fragments are used intentionally, but should be used sparsely, otherwise they lose their effect. (can add speed or suspense to a piece) • Beginning a sentence with a conjunction (and, but, or, because) is technically a fragment (because conjunctions are supposed to be used to join sentences), even though they are often used by writers.
Fix the following fragments: • Even though Jill was a wonderful person. • The current gym rules are incomplete. Which is why we are currently updating them. • Through the air and around the bush. • I am going to bed early. So I can get some much needed beauty sleep. • When the day was finally over.
Run-on sentence: • When two or more sentences are joined as one, without using proper punctuation. • These are the sentences that seem to drag on forever, and can really affect readability. (We already discussed the importance punctuation makes!) Examples: • The boy went over to the hardware store he bought some nails he then thanked the man and left. • It was a cold day the children should have had mittens on.
Ways to correct run-ons: • Divide the sentences and insert proper punctuation. • Combine sentences properly by using a conjunction or a semicolon. • Hints for avoiding run-ons: If a clause has a subject, a verb, and makes up a complete thought, then it is a sentence and should be written as such.
Fix the following run-ons: • Today is a really boring day the teacher would not stop talking. • The snow kept falling it landed on the rooftop and covered the driveway. • There are only nine more school days until Christmas holidays begin we should work harder in our classes until then. • Skating is such good exercise that is why many skaters are good athletes.
Comma splice: • A run-on sentence that is punctuated with a comma (which, as we know, is not the proper punctuation to end a sentence with). • It is called that because the comma is trying to join to sentences where it shouldn’t (when you splice cable wires, you try to get two tv’s running off of one service line – bad!) Examples: • We got a new tv for Christmas, it is a widescreen with HD capabilities. • School is almost over, my friends and I are going to a movie to celebrate.
How to fix a comma splice: • The easiest way is to trade the comma in for better punctuation – a period. • You may also choose to join the sentences by adding either a conjunction or a semicolon.
Fix the comma splices: • Jenny is a good friend of mine, she is becoming a fashion designer. • I love chocolate, it is my absolute favourite snack, even though too much of it can be a bad thing. • When I came home, my dog met me at the door, I gave her a treat for being so sweet. • We have lots of snow at our place, you can come and take all you want, we are giving it away for free.
Decide whether each sentence below is a fragment, run-on, comma splice, or correct. Make proper changes so all are complete sentences. • Mona is a good friend of mine, she is kind and very funny. • When I got home from school yesterday. • Thomas laughed. • JD is gone to Australia I wish I could have fit in his suitcase because I love the warm weather. • I miss summer, when will it ever return? • Although my dog is a good companion. • The tall and slender girl who lives down the street. • After school, I think I will have a nap. • Because I said so. • Class goes by very quickly some days others seem to drag on forever I wonder why that is?