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Friday, April 6, 2012

Fragment (of a Sentence)


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.


nutschell said...

always great to know more about the English language. fragments can be quite helpful when writing novels too.
Great A-Z post!

danneromero said...

good info...i enjoy words...

William Kendall said...

I'll tend to use fragments when I've got a character conveying their thoughts.