Posted by: episystechpubs | July 27, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Fragments

Yesterday we discussed main clauses and sentences. Today I want to tell you a little bit about what happens when you are missing part of a sentence.

First, remember that a sentence requires at least a main clause. You need the subject, verb, and complete thought. If you are missing one of these things, you are stuck with a sentence fragment. Just like a garment fragment, unless you’re at the beach, a fragment is not enough to cover your needs!

Examples of fragments:

· From now until then.
(Missing a subject and a verb.)
I plan to spend money from now until then.
(I=subject; plan=verb)

· On the heads of Sydney and Ronnie.
(Prepositional phrase, possibly missing a subject and verb.)
Two small birds landed on the heads of Sydney and Ronnie.
(birds=subject; landed=verb)

· Swimming and running and other activities.
(Missing a subject and a verb.)
Camp offers swimming and running and other activities.
(camp=subject; offers=verb)

As you can see, it can be very confusing and misleading when you provide someone with nothing more than a sentence fragment. Here are some additional examples from one of your co-workers who is peeved by the use of fragments. Note that the speaker seems too busy to insert the subject: I. It’s only one letter, and you need to add it to make the sentence complete and prevent peevishness!

· “Need to let you know I can’t make the meeting.”

· “Thought I could win the race yesterday.”

· “Don’t know how to respond to her.”

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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