How to Recognize a Fragment?
A fragment is a sequence of words that begins with a capital letter and ends with a punctuation mark: usually a period, a question mark, or an exclamation mark. However, there is a significant difference that allows us to distinguish between fragments and complete sentences: fragments have no main clause.
The main clause is the heart of any sentence; the core idea of a sentence can be conveyed to a reader only through the main clause.
What Do Fragments Do?
– Indicate the position in time and place through a prepositional phrase; such a phrase, however, still does not have subject-verb relationships and thus does not make an independent clause.
e.g. Somewhere in the mountains, far away from hustling cities and everyday noise.
– Describes something, but still without a subject-verb relationship.
e.g. Working seven days a week, trying to make ends meet.
– Has a subject-verb relationship. However, rather often the subject-verb pair is connected to some other idea, and thus cannot stand on its own.
e.g. A man who stood next to my brother.
What to Pay Attention to?
The best way to know whether or not a sentence is complete is to look for these three basic components:
– a verb, connected to this subject
– sense, or a complete thought, a subject and verb make
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