When in complete sentences. In this lesson, you

When you are writing, you want to ensure that everyone understands what you are trying to say. Therefore, you must write in complete sentences. In this lesson, you will learn how to tell the difference between a complete sentence and a fragment as well as how to correct any fragments in order to make the sentence whole.

What is a Fragment?

When we receive only a portion of something, we are receiving a fragment of it. This fragment is not a complete amount.

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Just think if you only received a fragment of your paycheck! Would you understand the situation right away? Probably not. More importantly, would you be able to use the check if it was not complete? No, you wouldn’t. You can view a fragment of a sentence in the same way. Important information that makes the sentence usable is missing.

Add a Subject

For instance, if a fragment simply said, ‘went to the store’, we could fix it by adding a subject.

Then, the sentence might say, ‘Jose went to the store.’ Now, the corrected fragment will become a complete sentence. It has its subject and predicate, and it expresses a complete thought.

Add a Predicate

Let’s return to our fragment from above. We need to add a predicate. So, let’s take ‘The car sitting in the garage’ and make it ‘The car sitting in the garage is silver.’ Now, there is a subject, predicate, and a complete thought.

Although the verb part of the predicate, sitting, gave us action, we needed the complete predicate, sitting in the garage is silver, to give us complete information about the subject.

Attach it to a Nearby Sentence

An example of this may be a fragment such as, ‘while running around like crazy.’ A nearby sentence that it could be added to would be, ‘The children were laughing.’ After combining, the new sentence would read ‘The children were laughing while running around like crazy.’ Now that the fragment was added to a sentence, it is no longer a problem.

Lesson Summary

Fragments are sometimes difficult to recognize. We can avoid fragments by always making sure that our sentences have a subject, predicate, and express a complete thought. A complete thought ensures that the reader is not confused after reading the sentence.

As long as we avoid fragments by including the necessary information, we can’t go wrong!


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