Sentence Fragments0 Sentence fragments are sentences which are not complete and therefore might confuse your reader.0 While some sentence fragments can be used for emphasis, you must first know when and how to avoid unintentional fragments in your writing.0 This tutorial will help you learn how toidentify unintentional sentence fragmentsand correct them.
In this lesson, you will learn:0 The three elements of a complete sentence.
What a sentence needs: Subject Predicate Complete Thought
SubjectThe subject of a sentence is who, or what, the sentence is about. Kerri rides her bike to class.Who is the sentence about? Kerri. So “Kerri” is our subject.
PredicateThe predicate of a sentence is the action word, orverb—it tells us what the subject is doing. Kerri rides her bike to class.We know that Kerri is our subject—what is she doing?Kerri rides her bike. So “rides” is our predicate.
Complete ThoughtThe third element a complete sentence requires is that itmust express a complete thought.“Kerri rides” has a subject and a predicate, but it doesn’texpress a complete thought—where is she riding, or what isshe riding, or why is she riding? We need more information. Kerri rides her bike to class. That gives us a subject, a predicate, and a complete thought.
A sentence needs three elements to becomplete.1. It must have a subject. (Who, or what, the sentence is about).2. It must have a predicate. (The action word, or verb. What is the subject doing?)3. It must express a complete thought. (If you aren’t sure what the sentence means, you may have a fragment).
Practice Identifying Sentence FragmentsIn this part of this lesson, we will practice identifyingsome sentence fragments and will offer examples of howto correct them.
Necessary ElementsWe already know that the three things a sentence needsto be complete are the subject, the predicate, and acomplete thought. So is the sentence below a fragment? Mozart, at the age of eight.
What’s Wrong With This Sentence? Mozart, at the age of eight.Do we have a subject? Yes—Mozart.Do we have a predicate, or verb? No. At the age ofeight, what did Mozart do? One way to correct this might be:Mozart wrote his first symphony at the age ofeight.
What’s Missing ?Always worrying about being struck by lightening.
What’s Wrong With This Sentence? Always worrying about being struck by lightening. Do we have a predicate? Yes. Do we have a subject? No. Who is always worried about being struck by lightening? To correct this sentence, simply add a subject:Jessica is always worried about being struck by lightening.
What’s Missing? Patriots who fought in the Revolution. Is this a sentence fragment? Let’s check. Is there a subject? Yes. This sentence is about patriots.Is there a predicate? Yes. Fought is the predicate.Finally, does the sentence express a complete thought? No.We don’t know why we are hearing about theseRevolutionary War patriots.
How to Correct ItSo, how do we correct this sentence?Patriots who fought in the Revolution.We need to make it a complete thought. Thereare plenty of options. Here are two: 1. The patriots who fought in the Revolution did not all wear the same uniforms. 2. Nearly 5,000 of the patriots who fought in the Revolution were African-American.
Tips for Finding Errors Read the essay out loud. Read the essay backwards, from the last sentence to the first. Have a friend read the essay out loud to you.Sometimes we are “too close” to our work. Reading it outloud forces us to read what is actually on the page, not whatwe think is on the page.
ReviewRemember, these are the three things each sentenceshould have. If any one of them is missing, you willneed to revise.