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Sentence Fragment Overview

Sentence fragments are a mistake that students and writers frequently make. A sentence fragment checker is a useful writing tool for identifying and correcting sentence fragments. Sentence fragments are incomplete sentences. They lack at least one of the 3 essential elements that it takes to make a complete sentence. These elements are:

  • Subject. This is the person or thing that performs the action in a sentence. This is usually a noun, a noun phrase or a pronoun
  • Verb. The action being performed in the sentence.
  • Express a complete thought. The sentence must express a complete thought so the reader knows what it’s about.

When a phrase is missing any one of these elements it is an incomplete sentence. The following are some basic examples of sentence fragments:

  1. Sentence fragment 1: “Hiking in the mountains every weekend.” This is a sentence fragment because it has no subject. We don’t know who or what is hiking in the mountains.
  2. Sentence fragment 2: “My dog Spot.” This is a sentence fragment because it lacks a verb. We don’t know what Spot did.
  3. Sentence fragment 3: “For example, cake and ice cream.” This is an incomplete sentence because it doesn’t express a complete thought. The reader doesn’t know what cake and ice cream is an example of. 

It isn’t always easy to spot sentence fragments, especially in your own writing. If you are having problems identifying sentence fragments in your writing you may want to consider using an incomplete sentence checker to assist you.

How to Identify Sentence Fragments

There are a number of different things you can look for in order to detect sentence fragments. Here is a list of some of the things you can check for:

how do i find fragments with the fragment detector
  • Missing subject: sometimes known as lonely verb fragmented sentences, they can be identified because there is no subject in the phrase.
    • Example: “Ran across the road.”
  • Missing verb: if a phrase has no verb to communicate the action in a sentence it is a fragment
    • Example: “The boy across the river.”
  • Participle phrases: these are typically phrases that begin with a verb that ends in “-ed” or “-ing”. Participle phrases often fail to express a complete thought.
    • Example: “Holding a bag of groceries in each arm.”
  • Subordinate clauses: subordinate clauses, sometimes known as dependent clauses, are sentence fragments because they don’t express a complete thought. They require an independent clause to give them meaning.
    • Example: “Because the movie didn’t start until 10 pm.”
  • Appositives: an appositive is a noun phrase that clarifies and renames another noun. Appositives are often long and mistaken for complete sentences but on their own they are fragments.
    • Example: “The man who forgot his wallet every time it was his turn to pay the bill.”

Before you can begin repairing sentence fragments you have to identify them which can be confusing and difficult for some. A good sentence fragment identifier can remove some of the confusion from the process.

How to Correct a Sentence Fragment

There are a number of different ways you can correct a sentence fragment. The key is to repair the sentence fragment by making it a complete sentence. The following are some examples of sentence fragments and corrections that can be made so that they are complete sentences:

  • Add a subject: a sentence fragment missing the person or thing performing an action can be fixed by adding a subject.
    • Sentence fragment: “Ran to the store to get ingredients for an apple pie.”
    • Corrected version: “David ran to the store to get ingredients for an apple pie.”
  • Add a verb: when a phrase is missing an action add a verb to make it a complete sentence.
    • Sentence fragment: “The injured man down the mountain trail.”
    • Corrected version: “The injured man limped down the mountain trail.”
  • Add an independent clause to a subordinate clause: a subordinate clause can’t stand on its own and be understood. It must be combined with an independent clause in order to know what is happening.
    • Sentence fragment: “Since it was the weekend.”
    • Corrected version: “Since it was the weekend, George decided to sleep in late.”
  • Attach the appositive to a main clause: attaching an appositive to a main clause is one way of turning it from a fragment into a complete sentence. Always use commas to attach the appositive whether it comes at the beginning, middle or end of a sentence.
    • Sentence fragment: “The girl who played the piano so beautifully.”
    • Corrected version: “Susan, the girl who played the piano so beautifully, held the audience entranced until the last note.”
  • Add an independent phrase to a participle phrase: similar to a subordinate clause, a participle phrase doesn’t express a complete thought and requires an independent clause to be understood.
    • Sentence fragment: “Moving the heavy boxes to his new second-floor apartment.”
    • Corrected version: “Joe hurt his back last week moving the heavy boxes to his new second-floor apartment.”
how to correct a sentence fragment

Can you help me fix my fragment sentence? This is a common question from many students when they start hearing about subordinate clauses, appositives and participle phrases. Our convert a fragment to a sentence tool is just what you need if incomplete sentences are giving you problems. You can fix fragmented sentence online quickly and easily during the editing process.

Improve the Revision Process with Our Sentence Fragment Detector

I don’t know how to fix my sentence fragment is a frequent complaint from students. Fortunately our run on and fragment checker is the ideal tool to detect and fix sentence fragments. First the fragment detector identifies any incomplete sentences in your paper, and then it recommends corrections you can make to fix the problem. So how do I find fragments with the fragment detector? It couldn’t be easier. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Enter your text: copy and paste your text into the provided field
  • Start the analysis: click the button to start analyzing your text for sentence fragments and other problems. It usually takes a minute or less
  • Receive your report: you will receive a report identifying sentence fragments and other errors including recommending corrections and adjustments to fix your text
  • Make the recommended corrections

If you aren’t sure how to fix a comma splice or incomplete sentence our fragment reviser online tool will help you through the process.  The sentence fragment corrector isn’t just the most efficient way how to fix run on sentences and fragments; it performs several other functions as well. Here are some of the other functions the “is this a sentence fragment checker” performs:

sentence fragment checker functions
  • Spelling checker: finds and corrects all spelling mistakes in your writing
  • Grammar checker: besides fragments and run on sentences the sentence fragment finder identifies a wide variety of grammar mistakes such as verb tense problems, noun/pronoun agreement, misplaced modifiers, subject/verb agreement and more.
  • Punctuation checker: detects and corrects all types of punctuation errors in text
  • Passive/active voice detector: identifies whether you are using passive or active voice and suggests adjustments to convert to the appropriate voice
  • Tone detector: identifies text tone and offers recommended adjustments to set the tone you want
  • Text similarity checker: compares your text to billions of documents and web pages to identify text that is too similar and recommends changes.

Our sentence fragment corrector is free to use, fast and accurate. The fragment fixer can also be used to analyze any type of paper making it the ideal proofreading and editing tool for students and professionals. 

Try our sentence fragment checker at the first available opportunity and eliminate incomplete sentences and other grammar problems from your text!

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