If it’s incomplete

For sentence fragments to make sense, you need to fix them.

September 19, 2019 03:02 pm | Updated 03:02 pm IST

You write a sentence and think it’s a sentence, but then you realise it tells what happens but does not include who made that happen, or it might include who made that happen but does not tell what happens.

Mind boggling? Well, I am talking about fragments that often creep into your writing and how you can identify and fix them.

Fragments can masquerade as real sentences because they begin with a capital letter and end with a period.

Sentence fragments are groups of words that look like sentences, but aren’t. To be a sentence, groups of words need to have at least one independent clause. An independent clause is any group of words that contain both a subject and a verb and can stand on its own. For example, ‘I like cheeseburgers’ is an independent clause.

Sentence fragments never have independent clauses, but instead are dependent clauses or phrases. If you read them more closely, you’ll see that sentence fragments do not tell the whole story.

For eg: When we got into the car and rolled down the windows.

This is a fragment because you haven’t written what happened when you got into the car and rolled down the windows! ‘ When we got in the car ’ is a a dependent clause. It clearly belongs to the independent clause that follows it and should be rewritten like this:

When we got in the car and rolled down the windows, we saw that our pet dog was missing.

Here are some fragments for you to fix:

Because his car was in the shop (…What did he do?)

After the rain stops (…What then?)

When you finally take the test (…What will happen?)

Since you asked (…Will you get the answer?)

If you want to go with me (…What should you do?)

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