A sentence fragment is a group of words that resembles a sentence. It will start with a capital letter and have ending punctuation; however, it's neither an independent clause nor a complete idea. Explore types of sentence fragment examples to learn the best ways to correct them.
A sentence fragment can be confusing for the reader, so usually, the best thing to do is fix it by adding what is missing from the sentence or joining it to another sentence. See some sentence fragment examples and corrections, plus examples of how powerful an intentional sentence fragment can be.
Some sentence fragments lack a subject, so you need to add it. View five examples of sentence fragments along with a possible revision that includes a subject for.
- Fragment Sentence: Shows no improvement in your efficiency.
Revision: The evaluation shows no improvement in your efficiency.
- Fragment Sentence: Slammed the door and left.
Revision: Sarah slammed the door and left.
- Fragment Sentence: Was running down the lane and into the forest.
Revision: The moose was running down the lane and into the forest.
- Fragment Sentence: Discovered the cure for the disease.
Revision: The researcher discovered the cure for the disease.
- Fragment Sentence: Gave many reasons but no logical ones.
Revision: Our boss gave many reasons but no logical ones.
Some sentence fragments have a subject but no verb. To make the correction, a verb needs to be added. Explore several sentence fragments missing a verb and a possible way to correct them.
- Fragment Sentence: That time of wonder and amazement.
Revision: That was a time of wonder and amazement.
- Fragment Sentence: Clothes and shoes scattered around the room.
Revision: Clothes and shoes were scattered around the room.
- Fragment Sentence: The elected official for our district unpopular.
Revision: The elected official for our district was unpopular.
- Fragment Sentence: Inheritance, the answer to our prayers.
Revision: This inheritance is the answer to our prayers.
- Fragment Sentence: Terri showing her award and gloating.
Revision: Terri was showing her award and gloating.
Some sentence fragments are dependent clauses that cannot stand alone. Therefore, you need to add an independent clause to make it a complete sentence. Take a look at examples of fragment sentences with a dependent clause and a possible revision to make it a complete sentence.
- Fragment Sentence: Because it was raining.
Revision: We canceled the picnic because it was raining.
- Fragment Sentence: After I finish the project.
Revision: I will get a bonus after I finish the project.
- Fragment Sentence: Since she never saw that movie.
Revision: We should invite her since she never saw that movie.
- Fragment Sentence: Such as drama, music and dance.
Revision: I like the arts, such as drama, music and dance.
- Fragment Sentence: To explain why that happened.
Revision: He neglected to explain why that happened.
- Fragment Sentence: Worrying that she would be robbed.
Revision: She carefully locked the car, worrying that she would be robbed.
Sometimes, authors intentionally use sentence fragments to emphasize their writing or convey something harsh or disjointed. Dive into a few intentional fragment sentences made by professional writers to convey a specific message.
- "I'm home, but the house is gone. Not a sandbag, not a nail or a scrap of wire." - "The Vietnam in Me," The New York Times Magazine by Tim O'Brien
- "Late afternoon. The sky hunkers down, presses, like a lover, against the land. Small sounds. A far sheep, faint barking. Time to drive on, toward Strathpeffer, friends, a phone call from my father." - "Culloden," Only the Dance by Judith Kitchen
- "He looked levelly at the great red face across the desk. 'It's a remarkable case-history. Galloping paranoia. Delusions of jealousy and persecution. Megalomaniac hatred and desire for revenge." - Moonraker, Ian Fleming
- "A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State's motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY." Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
- "The hawk sailing by at 200 feet, a squirming snake in its talons. Salt in the drinking water. Salt, selenium, arsenic, radon and radium in the water in the gravel in your bones." - Journey Home, Edward Abbey
Although usually assumed to be a grammatical mistake, as you can see in the examples, fragments of sentences can be used deliberately to lend more meaning to words or impart a specific tone. Having said that, sentence fragments should always be reviewed to make sure they don't need to be revised to carry a complete thought. Now that you have sentence fragments down to a science, you can take a gander at punctuation marks.