Sentence Fragments Handout KEY John Langan
Note: In many cases there is more than one way to fix a fragment.
These are suggested answers.
Activity 1 KEY Answers will vary
1. Because the weather is bad, we decided to stay home.
2. If I lend you twenty dollars, I expect you to pay me back on payday.
3. The car that we bought is awesome!
4. Since I was tired, I decided to stay home for the evening.
5. Before the instructor entered the room the kids were being noisy.
Underline the dependent-word fragment or fragments in each of the five items below. Then correct each
fragment by attaching it to the sentence that comes before or the sentence that comes after it – whichever
sounds more natural. Put a comma after the dependent-word group if it starts the sentence.
1. Whenever our front and back doors are open, the air current causes the back door to slam shut.
The noise makes everyone in the house jump.
2. Bill always turns on the radio in the morning to hear the news. He wants to be sure that World War
III has not started before he gets on with his day.
3. Since the line at the Motor Vehicle Bureau crawls at a snail’s pace, Fred waited two hours there.
When there was only one person in front of him, the office closed for the day.
4. My dog ran in joyous circles on the wide beach, until she found a dead fish. Before I had a chance
to drag her away. She began sniffing and nudging the smelly remains.
5. When the air conditioner broke down, the temperature was over ninety degrees. I then found an old
fan which turned out to be broken also.
-ING and TO Fragments
When an –ing word appears at or near the start of a word group, a fragment may result. Such fragments
often lack a subject and part of the verb. Underline the word groups in the examples below that contain –
ing words. Each is a fragment.
Underline the -ing fragment in each of the three items that follow. Then make it a sentence by rewriting it,
using the method described in parenthesis.
1. Sweating under his heavy load, Brian staggered up the stairs to his apartment. He felt as though
his legs were crumbling beneath him.
2. He works ten hours a day. Then he went to class for three hours. It is no wonder he writes
3. Charlotte loved the movie Gone with the Wind, but Clyde hated it. His chief objection being was
that it lasted four hours.
Underline the –ing and to fragments in each of the five items that follow. Then rewrite each, correcting the
fragments by using one of the three methods of correction described. (Note: there may be more than one
fragment in each grouping).
1. A mysterious package arrived on my porch yesterday bearing no return address. I half expected to
find a bomb inside.
2. Jack bundled up and went outside on the bitterly cold day to saw wood for his fireplace. He
returned half frozen with only two logs.
3. Sighing with resignation, Jill switched on her television set. She knew that the picture would be
snowy and crackling with static. Her house being was in a weak reception area.
4. Jabbing the ice with a screwdriver, Bill attempted to speed up the defrosting process in his freezer.
However, he used too much force. The result being was a freezer compartment riddled with holes.
Underline the fragment in each of the three items below. Then make it a sentence by rewriting it, using the
method described in parentheses.
1. Nina is trying hard for a promotion. For example, through she is taking night classes and a Dale
Carnegie course. She is also working overtime for no pay.
2. I could feel Bill’s anger building, like a land mine ready to explode. I was silent because I didn’t
want to be the one to set it off.
3. We went on vacation without several essential items. Among other things, we forgot our sneakers
and sweat jackets.
Underline the added-detail fragment in each of the five items below. Then rewrite that part of the item
needed to correct the fragment. Use one of the three methods of correction described above.
1. It’s always hard for me to get up for work especially Mondays after a holiday weekend. However, I
always wake up early on free days.
2. Tony has enormous endurance. For example he has the ability to run five miles in the morning
and then play basketball all afternoon.
3. A counselor gives you a chance to talk about your problems whether with your family or the boss at
work. You learn how to cope better with life.
4. Fred and Martha do most of their shopping through mail-order catalogs especially the Sears and
J.C. Penney catalogs.
5. One of my greatest joys in life is eating desserts such as cherry cheesecake and vanilla cream
puffs. Almond fudge cake makes me want to dance.
Underline the missing-subject fragment in each of the following three items. Then rewrite that part of the
item needed to correct the fragment. Use one of the two methods of correction described above.
1. I tried on an old suit hanging in our basement closet. And I discovered, to my surprise, that it was
too tight to button.
2. When Mary had a sore throat, friends told her to gargle with salt water or suck on an ice cube. The
worst advice she got was to avoid swallowing.
3. One of my grade-school teachers embarrassed us with her sarcasm. Also, she seated us in rows
from the brightest student to the dumbest. I can imagine the pain the student in the last seat much
Review Test 1
1. When the alarm sounded, we ran outside.
2. In order to save money, we stopped drinking coffee at the mall.
3. He Was late for the game
4. To pass the course, I worked really hard.
5. Peter, who is very impatient, is my younger brother.
6. During the holiday season, it is important to keep perspective.
7. The store where I worked was very unusual.
8. Before the movie started, we got our favorite treats.
9. Down in the basement, I think something is alive!
10. Feeling very confident, I drove off to my destination.
Review Test 2
Underline the two fragments in each of the five items below. Then, rewrite the sentence making the
corrections needed to fix the fragments.
1. Gathering speed with enormous force, the plane was suddenly in the air. Then it began to climb
sharply. And several minutes later leveled off.
2. Before my neighbours went on vacation, they asked me to watch their house. I agreed to check the
premises once a day. Also, I agreed to take in their mail.
3. Running untouched into the end zone, the halfback raised his arms in triumph. Then he slammed
the football to the ground and did a little victory dance.
4. It’s hard to keep up with bill such as telephone, gas, and electricity. After you finally mail the
cheque, new ones seem to arrive a day or two later.
5. While a woman ordered twenty pounds of cold cuts, customers at the deli counter waited
impatiently. The woman explained that she was in charge of a school picnic and apologized for
taking up so much time.
… the end