Sentence Fragments Sentence fragments are incomplete “sentences” which are punctuated as complete thoughts. Complete sentences must contain a subject and a verb and express an idea that can stand on its own. Fragment: Dropped its transmission in the school parking lot. Problem: The sentence lacks a subject. One might assume that we are talking about a car here, but there is no way to know which car. In cases like this one we often find ourselves asking questions of the writer: “What dropped the transmission. Fixed: My ’68 Gremlin dropped its transmission in the school parking lot. Fragment: Mr. Hanes, who is the greatest juggler on campus. Problem: This sentence lacks a verb. Sure, Mr. Hanes may be the greatest juggler on campus, nut that is a description, not an action. What does he do? Fixed: Mr. Hanes, who is the greatest juggler on campus, has a closet full of coloured handkerchiefs. Fragment: Because the school has run out of powdered cheese sauce. Problem: This one is tricky because it has both a subject and a verb. The word BECAUSE creates a problem, however. It makes this piece of the sentence referent to something unknown. The reader wants to ask: “Because what?” Fixed: Lunch is cancelled because the school has run out of powdered cheese sauce.
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