What are Fragments? Every sentence must have a subject & verb to express a complete thought. A word group that lacks a subject or a verb & does not express a complete thought is a fragment. The most common types of fragments are… 1. Dependant-word fragments 2. –ing and to fragments 3. Added-detail fragments 4. Missing-subject fragments
Dependent-Word Fragments Some word groups that begin with a dependent word are fragments. Here is a list of common dependent words… After, although, though, as, because, before, even though, how, if, even if, in order that, since, that, so that, unless, until, what, whatever, when, whenever, where, wherever, whether, which, whichever, while, who, whoever, whose.
Dependent-Word Fragments (Cont.) Whenever you start a sentence with a dependent word, be careful a fragment does not result. Ex. After I learned the price of new cars. I decided to keep my old pickup. A dependent statement cannot stand alone. It depends on another statement to complete the thought. Ex. After I learned the price of new cars, I decided to keep my old pickup. Dependent statements by themselves are fragments. Attach the dependent sentence to the sentence to come before or after to correct this.
-ing Fragments When an –ingword is at or near the start of a word group, a fragment may result. Ex. I spent two hours on the phone. Trying to find a shop. To correct, attach the –ing fragment to the sentence that comes before or after (whichever makes sense). Ex. I spent two hours on the phone, trying to find a shop. Or, add a subject & change the –ing verb to the correct form. Or, change the verb to the correct form.
ToFragments When to appears at or near the beginning of a word group, a fragment may result. Ex. I plan on working overtime. To finish the job. To correct, add the fragment to the preceding sentence. Ex. I plan on working overtime to finish the job.
Added-Detail Fragment Added-detail fragments often lack a subject and a verb. They often begin with one of the following words: also, especially, except, for example, including, such as. Ex. I love to eat Italian food. Especially spaghetti and lasagna. To correct, attach the fragment to the preceding sentence. Or, add a subject and verb to the fragment. Or, change words as necessary to combine the fragment to a sentence.
Missing-Subject Fragments Sometimes a word group is missing a subject because the writer thinks the subject from one sentence will apply to the next. Ex. The car swerved. But missed the telephone pole. To correct, attach the fragment to the preceding sentence. Or, add a subject (which can be a pronoun standing for the subject in the preceding sentence). Ex. The car swerved. It missed the telephone pole.
Still unsure? Read sentences out loud. Pause after every period. If sentence doesn’t make sense by itself, it may be a fragment. Ask yourself who or what is the subject of the sentence. If you do not have one, you may have a fragment.