Fragmented Sentence Fragments

Sentences can be complex things or simple things. It depends on what there is to say. Believe it or not, a sentence can go awry. It can become fragmented, broken, miss-punctuated, run on and more.

So what is a basic complete sentence?

Well there are three components required to complete a full sentence. It must express a complete thought so we know what the sentence is about. The sentence must have action in the form of a verb. A sentence must have a subject. A sentence must have a thing or object that the sentence is about.

That is the basic sentence. They can also contain several objects, Adjectives or adverbs and dependent clauses.

I have recently come to terms with the fact I often fragment my sentences. When I write quickly, I get excited and type too fast. This causes the technical aspects of writing fall to the wayside. Like all the time.

Editing and revision always help find and fix these little blunders.

So what exactly is a sentence fragment? Most word programs will underline said fragmented sentence with a blue line but often there is no explanation or suggested solution. It simply says Fragment (Consider reversing).

A sentence is a group of words where the first starts with a capitol and the last is followed by a period. If the sentence is fragmented, it looks like a sentence but is grammatically correct. All the words should work together or join with another sentence to make it complete.

How does one define a sentence fragment?

A sentence fragment does not express a complete thought.


1. Amber is.  (The thought is missing. What is she?)

Correction: Amber is bored.

2. Blowing Bubbles. (The subject is missing. Who or what is blowing bubbles?)

Correction: Amber is blowing bubbles.

3. A red rose. (The action is missing. What about it? Is the rose doing something? Does it smell? Was picked? What is that rose doing? Or what is someone doing with it?)

Correction: Amber smells a red rose.

4. And she stopped at the park. (‘and’ is a dependent clause. It needs to be attached to an independent clause.)

Correction:  Amber went for a walk and stopped at the park.

5. Since she hates celery. (I’m messing with the clauses again… oops. Since is like and, and needs an independent clause.)

Correction: Amber won’t eat the crisp greens since she hates celery.

Each sentence was corrected by adding a verb, a subject, completing the thought or joining the dependent clause with an independent clause.

One more example:

6.  Rachael often working late on Friday nights. Because she has too much work and tasks to complete.

Ugh gross. There are two easy ways to fix this.

Join sentences.

Rachael often works late Friday nights, because she has too much work and too many tasks to complete.

Complete each fragmented sentence.

Rachael often works late on Friday nights. There is too much work and too many tasks to complete.

I find that most of these are found during editing and revision. If not by eye then when I read them aloud to myself. Fragmented sentences often don’t sound right.

My advice about fragmented sentences.
(Yes, I know ‘My advice about fragmented sentences.’ is a fragmented sentence. Therefore, I suppose it should read… Here is my advice about fragmented sentences. There.


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4 thoughts on “Fragmented Sentence Fragments

  1. I sometimes write fragmented sentences because I type too fast, too. Some of my usual fragmented sentences are ones like “But this was not to be the case.”

    I think my issue is that I type as if I’m talking. I definitely do have to reread what I write a few times to make it more formally written, depending on the written piece. Clearly there are different rules and customs for written language than for spoken language.

    Much of what I write are personal stories. I do like to incorporate pauses, special accents/emphasis to make it sound like I’m actually telling the story face to face. Because of that, I sometimes let fragmented sentences like “But this was not to be the case.” slide. Obviously I wouldn’t if I was writing a formal article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I find most of my fragmented sentences in dialogue. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes I leave them alone. It depends on how I want the character to sound whey they speak. It also depends on what is being said.

      Liked by 1 person

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