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Adapted from the OWL at Purdue Website SENTENCE FRAGMENTS AND RUN-ONS Sentence Fragments Fragments are incomplete sentences. Usually, fragments are pieces of sentences that have become disconnected from the main clause. One of the easiest ways to correct them is to remove the period between the fragment and the main clause. Other kinds of punctuation may be needed for the newly combined sentence. Below are some examples with the fragments shown in red. Punctuation and/or words added to make corrections are highlighted in blue. Notice that the fragment is frequently a dependent clause or long phrase that follows the main clause. Fragment (phrase or dependent Possible Revision clause) Purdue offers many majors in Purdue offers many majors in engineering. Such as electrical, engineering, such as electrical, chemical, and industrial chemical, and industrial engineering. engineering. Coach Dietz exemplified this Coach Dietz exemplified this behavior by walking off the field in behavior by walking off the field in the middle of a game. Leaving her the middle of a game, leaving her team at a time when we needed team at a time when we needed her. her. I need to find a new roommate. I need to find a new roommate Because the one I have now isn't because the one I have now isn't working out too well. working out too well. The current city policy on housing Because the current city policy on is incomplete as it stands. Which is housing is incomplete as it stands, why we believe the proposed we believe the proposed amendments should be passed. ammendments should be passed. You may have noticed that newspaper and magazine journalists often use a dependent clause as a separate sentence when it follows clearly from the preceding main clause, as in the last example above. This is a conventional journalistic practice, often used for emphasis. For academic writing and other more formal writing situations, however, you should avoid such journalistic fragment sentences. Some fragments are not clearly pieces of sentences that have been left unattached to the main clause; they are written as main clauses but lack a subject or main verb. Fragment (incomplete main Possible Revisions Adapted from the OWL at Purdue Website clause) Appositive: Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," a story with deep No main verb thoughts and emotions, has A story with deep thoughts impressed critics for decades. and emotions. Direct object: She told a story with deep thoughts and emotions. Complete verb: Toys of all kinds were Toys of all kinds thrown thrown everywhere. everywhere. Direct object: They found toys of all kinds thrown everywhere. Direct object: I've noticed a record of accomplishment beginning when A record of accomplishment you were first hired. beginning when you were first Main verb: A record of hired. accomplishment began when you were first hired. No subject Remove preposition: The ultimate With the ultimate effect of effect of all advertising is to sell the all advertising is to sell the product. product. By paying too much attention to Remove preposition: Paying too much polls can make a political leader attention to polls can make a political unwilling to propose innovative leader unwilling to propose innovative policies. policies. Remove preposition: Doing freelance For doing freelance work for a work for a competitor got Phil fired. competitor got Phil fired. Rearrange: Phil got fired for doing freelance work for a competitor. These last three examples of fragments with no subjects are also known as mixed constructions, that is, sentences constructed out of mixed parts. They start one way (often with a long prepositional phrase) but end with a regular predicate. Usually the object of the preposition (often a gerund, as in the last two examples) is intended as the subject of the sentence, so removing the preposition at the beginning is usually the easiest way to edit such errors. Adapted from the OWL at Purdue Website Comma Splices, Run-ons, and Fused Sentences The above are all names given to compound sentences that are not punctuated correctly. The best way to avoid such errors is to punctuate compound sentences correctly by using one or the other of these rules. 1. Join the two independent clauses with one of the coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet), and use a comma before the connecting word. _________________________, and _________________________. (He enjoys walking through the country, and he often goes backpacking on his vacations.) 2. When you do not have a connecting word (or when you use a connecting word other than and, but, for, or nor, so, or yet between the two independent clauses) use a semicolon (;). __________________________;_____________________________. (He often watched TV when there were only reruns; she preferred to read instead.) or a subordinating conjuction __________________________; however,____________________. (He often watched TV when there were only reruns; however, she preferred to read instead.) So, run-ons and fused sentences are terms describing two independent clauses which are joined together with no connecting word or punctuation to separate the clauses. Incorrect: They weren't dangerous criminals they were detectives in disguise. Correct: They weren't dangerous criminals; they were detectives in disguise. Incorrect: I didn't know which job I wanted I was too confused to decide. Correct: I didn't know which job I wanted, so I was too confused to decide. Adapted from the OWL at Purdue Website SENTENCE FRAGMENTS AND RUN-ONS: EXERCISE 1 The sentences below appeared in papers written by students. Act as their editor, marking a C if the sentences in the group are all complete and an F if any of the sentences in the group is a fragment or run-on. Then correct the sentences. ____ 1. Then I attended Morris Junior High. A junior high that was a bad experience. ____ 2. The scene was filled with beauty. Such as the sun sending its brilliant rays to the earth and the leaves of various shades of red, yellow, and brown moving slowly in the wind. ____ 3. He talked for fifty minutes without taking his eyes off his notes. Like other teachers in that department, he did not encourage students' questions. ____ 4. Within each group, a wide range of features to choose from. It was difficult to distinguish between them. ____ 5. A few of the less serious fellows would go into a bar for a steak dinner and a few glasses of beer. After this meal, they were ready for anything. ____ 6. It can be really embarrassing to be so emotional. Especially when you are on your first date, you feel that you should be in control. ____ 7. I love this film it is really exceptionally edited. ____ 8. They went camping last week, they camped at the foot of the mountain. ____ 9. He has already gone to the store, but he hasn’t bought any bread. ____ 10. The trash was strewn across the street. Which created a messy environment. ____ 11. Riding his bicycle across the lawn. He crushed all the fresh green grass under his tires, he didn’t care about his neighbors. ____ 12. The teacher wrote words all over the chalkboard, she covered it with her notes and markings until no space remained and this confused the already lost students.
"SENTENCE FRAGMENTS AND RUN-ONS"