Fragments are one of the most common grammatical errors in the English language.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that end up as fragments:
No SubjectNo VerbClause Turned into a Complete Sentence
Example: Singing in the lobby.
- Issue: Who is singing in the lobby?
- Solution: Add a subject that confirms who is singing.
Fixed: Peyton is singing in the lobby.
Example: My dog’s long fur.
- Issue: What about the fur? What is it doing? How would you describe it?
- Solution: Insert either an action verb that states what the fur is doing or a linking verb that describes the fur.
Fixed: My dog’s long fur is dirty.
Clause Turned into a Complete Sentence
Example: As I was going to class.
- Issue: “As” makes this sentence incomplete (see “Clauses” section for more details). Dependent clauses are unable to stand alone as a sentence, but independent clauses can.
- Solution: Remove “as,” or describe what was happening to you as you were going to class.
Fixed: As I was going to class, I realized I forgot my homework.
Things to make sure of:
- Clear subject
- Clear verb
- No modifiers or phrases that unnecessarily split the subject and the verb, and none that make the sentence a dependent clause rather than an independent clause
- Carefully read your paper aloud to yourself, or have a friend read it aloud to you. This is one of the best ways to catch sentence fragments.
- “Recognizing Fragments (Video).” Khan Academy, Khan Academy. Accessed 1 April 2021.
- “What Is a Sentence Fragment?” Grammarly, 14 Jan. 2021. Accessed 1 April 2021.