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Recognizing fragments

A sentence fragment is a chunk of language that hasn’t made it all the way to being a working sentence; it might be missing a verb, or there might not be a subject. Learn how to turn a fragment into a sentence in this video! 

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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user xDqmage
    Is it possible for a grammatically correct sentence to have 2 or more predicates/subjects?
    (7 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Polina Vitić
      Yes, it is possible! Here are some examples:

      2+ subjects
      - Liam and Genesis are doing their homework.
      - The cat, the dog, and the fish were hungry.

      2+ predicates
      - My baby sister laughed and cooed.
      - The triathlete swims, bikes, and runs.

      2+ subjects & 2+ predicates
      - Dad and Uncle Oscar hunt and fish.
      - Bodhi, Kai, and Luna sat and waited.
      - The chef and her helper measured, mixed, and baked.

      Hope this helps!
      (22 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user shujaullahwaraich2003
    We stayed home.(Shouldn't be this a sentence itself without the "from school" part)
    (3 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      You are right. It is a complete sentence without the additional part. But it doesn't communicate much. For example:

      Everyone else went to the wedding. We stayed home.
      After the earthquake, we stayed home.
      The dogs were in the meadow, but we stayed home.
      We stayed home because we didn't like the new preacher.

      See how additional stuff communicates more? The three words are just fine in and of themselves, but they just don't say much without a bit of detail.
      (7 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Lalitha Machiraju
    So a sentence fragment is just a phrase or a dependent clause but with a period?
    (3 votes)
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  • stelly orange style avatar for user thafroz1
    So fragments are a part of a sentence predicate or subject? Is that true?
    (4 votes)
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  • hopper jumping style avatar for user cc
    What is the difference between a sentence fragment and an dependent clause? Aren't they the same thing??
    (2 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      A dependent clause could likely stand by itself as an independent clause EXCEPT FOR the fact that it contains something which makes it dependent. For example:
      She is the queen of her nation. (Independent clause).
      Although she is the queen of her nation, (Dependent clause).

      A sentence fragment, in contrast, LACKS something.
      For example: "Was she the queen in 1971?" "No." (sentence fragment)
      compare to:
      "Was she the queen in 1971?" "No, she wasn't." (complete sentence)
      Capiche?
      (4 votes)
  • leaf grey style avatar for user Deleted_User
    Fragments can help set the tone of someone speaking, though. However, they are grammatically incorrect.

    Can you still use them when writing a story?

    "Green beans. Eat them NOW," Shelia snarled.
    (3 votes)
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  • primosaur tree style avatar for user GarrettM
    🐵 monke
    (2 votes)
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  • starky sapling style avatar for user Aslan
    What if someone said "Whats for dinner?" and Bob replies "The Pancakes."
    Would what Bob said still be a fragment?
    (1 vote)
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  • boggle purple style avatar for user astoriabutler
    why does the United States Board of Education require you to study grammar until the ninth grade. Grammar hasn't changed much, at least over the past 75 years.I am learning about fragments in the eighth grade and I mastered the concept in the third grade. I like language arts, I just wish we didn't have to do the exact same stuff over and over again. By the fourth grade students know what adverbs,verbs,pronouns,conjunctions,contractions,prepositions,state of being verbs,etc. are. So, why do teachers teach us the same things until the ninth grade? I'm homeschooled and it is required for me to learn this.
    (2 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      You might be surprised by how often many students well past 4th grade ask questions like, "what's an adverb?" That you already know grammar while in the 8th grade is something to celebrate! Congratulations. You've got time on your hands and space in your head for other things, like music composition, dramatics, gymnastics and Chinese!
      (2 votes)
  • winston baby style avatar for user joy1214
    If two fragments meet, does it ALWAYS makes a sentence?
    (2 votes)
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    • female robot amelia style avatar for user Johanna
      No, it's possible to combine two fragments and still not have a complete sentence. For example:

      Fragment 1: The child who was crying
      Fragment 2: Eighteen cows

      "The child who was crying eighteen cows" is still not a complete sentence.

      I hope this helps!
      (2 votes)

Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Hello grammarians, David here along with my cousin Beth who also happens to be a teacher. Say hello to the people Beth. - [Voiceover] Hi people. - [Voiceover] So today we are going to talk about sentence fragments, and Beth you cover these in classes that you teach. Could you tell me please, what is a sentence fragment? - [Voiceover] Great. A sentence fragment is when a student writes a sentence and they think it's a sentence, but it's one that tells maybe what happens, but doesn't include who, or it might include who but doesn't tell what happens. - [Voiceover] So sentence fragments don't tell the whole story. The way I would put it, is that a fragment is a piece of a sentence that cannot stand on its own, but nevertheless, incorrectly ends with a period. So the whole story, for instance, would be a fragment. This is a fragment. It could be a sentence but it's missing something. Beth, what is it missing, what is the whole story missing? - [Voiceover] Well we've got a subject but we don't have what we would call a predicate, in other words, so we're giving a subject, but we're not telling what happens to that subject. - [Voiceover] All right, so, the whole story began 10 years ago. And now we've got our subject here, the whole story, and now we've given it a predicate. Similarly, if we just had this predicate, and we just said it began ten years ago, oh, that's not enough to be a sentence either, that's also a fragment. Because now we've got a predicate but no subject. - [Voiceover] Right, we're telling about something but we don't know what. - [Voiceover] So in order to be a sentence, you need to have both a subject and a predicate. So you need to have a thing, like a noun, or a pronoun, and then you have to have something happen to that noun or pronoun, or something performed by that noun our pronoun. Right so, like the pancakes, period, is not a sentence. But the pancakes were delicious, is. - [Voiceover] So you've got a part that names, that's your subject, and then you've got the part that finishes the thought, that's your predicate. - [Voiceover] Let's look at another example. All right, what about because of the snowstorm? Is that a sentence, Beth? - [Voiceover] Nope. - [Voiceover] Why not? - [Voiceover] Well you don't tell what happened because of that snowstorm. - [Voiceover] So this is what we call, not even a, I mean it's not even a dependent clause, right? It, this thing doesn't have, doesn't really have a subject or a verb. It's really just a prepositional phrase. So because of the snowstorm something could happen, but we don't know what that is, so, because of the snowstorm, we stayed home from school. So we've got this sentence here, this independent clause, right. We stayed home from school. And that's a subject and a predicate. And if it were just stayed home from school, period, that wouldn't be a sentence. And if it were just we, period, that also wouldn't be a sentence. And if it were just because of the snowstorm, period, that wouldn't be a sentence. It doesn't have enough support to stand on its own. But all together, because of the snowstorm, comma, we stayed home from school, period. That is a sentence. So in order to make sure that you're building sentences you have to make sure that what you've got is a subject and a predicate. You gotta have a subject and a verb, put 'em together, slap on a period, you've got a sentence. - [Voiceover] You've got some good sentences there David. - [Voiceover] You can learn anything. David out. - [Voiceover] And Beth out.