A fragment is a piece of something. So a sentence fragment is a piece of a sentence, but not a complete sentence. It either lacks a subject-verb relationship that allows it to stand alone and or a complete thought.
Examples of sentence fragments:
Watching the boy and his dog. (This clause has a verb, watching, but it does not tell us who is watching; therefore, the subject is missing.)
In the cotton field during the rain storm last night. (This clause is missing a subject and a verb. We know where the action took place, but not who or what did the action or what the action was.)
Even though she wanted a puppy and knew where she could get one. (The problem with this clause is that we have a subject, she, but we never find out what she does.)
After Susanmarie shoved the ladle in her purse. (This fragment is tricky. We have a subject, Susanmarie, and a verb, shoved, but the thought is not complete. We are left wondering what happened after she shoved the ladle in her purse.)
When is it okay to use a sentence fragment in writing?
Tomorrow: Gerund (I really struggled with these boogers in 10th grade grammar.)
This post is brought to you by the April A to Z Blog Challenge. Check back all through April for daily discussions of writing conventions.