Fragments

A fragment is an incomplete sentence. It is missing one or more of the following parts:

Example #1

HOT GRAMMAR TIP

If after writing a sentence, you have to ask yourself, "What about…?" (e.g., when I was driving and saw a bird in the storm?), then you probably have a fragment.

Yesterday, while I was driving to work and saw a bird in the middle of the road out in the storm.

Grammatical Error: This sentence fragment does not contain an independent clause because of the word "while." Therefore, it does not contain a complete thought even though there is a subject and a verb.

Reasoning: This sentence fragment does not tell you what happened when you saw a bird sitting in the middle of the road out in the storm.

Example #1 (corrected)

Yesterday, while I was driving to work and saw a bird sitting in the middle of the road out in the storm, I thought it must have wandered away from its nest.

Example #2

When I went to the movies last week and I ran into a friend.

Grammatical Error: This sentence fragment does not contain an independent clause because of the word "when." Therefore, it does not contain a complete thought even though there is a subject and a verb.

Reasoning: This sentence fragment does not tell you what happened when you went to the movies last week and ran into a friend.

Example 2 (corrected)

When I ran into a friend at the movies last week, I suggested we sit together.

Exercise 1 | Exercise 2