- Slides: 6
Introduction A sentence fragment tries its best to be a sentence, but it just can’t make it. It’s missing something. Often, it’s missing a verb or part of a verb string: John working extra hard on his hook shot lately. Here, for instance, we’re missing an auxiliary — has been, in this case, probably — that would complete the verb string and the sentence.
Incomplete Verb, Part Two A sentence fragment tries its best to be a sentence, but it just can’t make it. It’s missing something. Often, it’s missing a verb or part of a verb string: Spending hours every day after school and even on weekends. This time we’re missing a whole verb. “Spending” is a participle wanting to modify something, but there is no subject-verb relationship within the sentence.
Avoiding Sentence Fragments Sometimes a sentence fragment can give you a great deal of information, but it’s still not a complete sentence: After the coach encouraged him so much last year and he seemed to improve with each passing game. Here we have a subject-verb relationship — in fact, we have two of them — but the entire clause is subordinated by the dependent word after. We have no independent clause.
Avoiding Sentence Fragments Be alert for strings of prepositional phrases that never get around to establishing a subject-verb relationship: Immediately after the founding of the college and during those early years as the predominant educational institution in the American Midwest. Again, be careful of sentences which give their share of information but still don’t contain a subject and verb.
Avoiding Sentence Fragments If you still have problems identifying sentence fragments and repairing them, it might be helpful to review the material in the Guide to Grammar and Writing on CLAUSES PHRASES (and the types of sentences in) SENTENCE VARIETY
Avoiding Sentence Fragments Now you never again will have trouble with sentence fragments!