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Forum Home > Reading > What's the Problem? (fragments)

Saddiqua Muhammad Black bint Elijah
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Posts: 133

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh

A fragment is a group of words that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence but is punctuated as a complete sentence. In English, a subject and a verb and a complete thought are needed for a complete sentence. Many fragments lack a verb or lack a subject. A fragment can also be a dependent clause.

Almost all fragments explain or expand upon an idea in the immediately preceding sentence. Fragments are not easy for writers to spot because they sound normal.

Correct all errors in the following paragraph:

      My roommate has an annoying habit. Not putting anything away. She never picks up her dirty clothes. Until she has to do her laundry. In the kitchen, there are always dirty dishes on the table. I've asked her to at least put them in the sink. Where thay are out of the way. It is always such a mess. Cups half-full of coffee, cereal bowls with milk in them, and cruddy silverware. The refrigerator is just as bad. Opening the door is like taking a trip to the jungle. We really need to do something about it. Because it is really embarrassing when someone visits. (4)

Fixing this problem in your writing:

A fragment is almost always a continuation of the preceding sentence. To fix a fragment, we need to separate it from the previous sentence. When a fragment is by itself, isolated from preceding sentences, we are much more likely to notice that it doesn't make sense on its own. Most fragments fall into one of these three categories: Renamers, Adverbs, and ---ing Fragments.

A renamer renames or explains the last noun in the preceding sentence.

An adverb clause tells when, where, and especially why something happened.

--ing Fragments begin with a verb in the --ing verb form.

More proofreading practice:

Correct all fragment errors in the following paragraph:

     Ten percent of Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis. Which is the medical term for hay fever. The most common allergy. Hay fever is triggered by exposure to pollen. Especially grass and weed pollens. Flower pollen rarely causes allergic reactions. Because it is too heavy to float very high or far. (3)

     During the alergy season, many hay fever sufferers take a drug called antihistimine. Hoping to combat sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. However, there are other ways to control allergy symptoms. Such as limiting outside work when the pollen count is high, running the air conditioner in your house and car, and avoiding dust and smoke. (2)

Correct all fragment errors in the following paragraphs:

     Several players have now broken Babe Ruth's long-standing records. Most home runs in a season and most career home runs. However, Babe may well be the most famous baseball player of all time. Largely because of his personality as much as his baseball playing. He played with an enthusiasm that excited the fans. (1)

     Babe's personality frequently made news. Even when his character got him into trouble. In 1922, his behavior resulted in five suspensions, and in 1923 his drinking and quarreling with management resulted in a $5,000 fine. A huge amount at the time for even well-paid players. He gained even more fame, though, when he turned himself around. Hitting a record sixty home runs in 1927. He had a comeback again in the World Series of 1932. After a September attack of what was thought to be appendicitis, he fought back and played all games in the World Series. In which he batted. 333. Even in his retirement, he remained a popular favorite and a spokesperson for the game he loved. (4)

Correct all fragment errors in the paragraph:

     Our college installed a new piece of artwork. A statue in front of the library. It is a tribute to the men and women. Serving in the armed forces. It is a special tribute to veterans of the Vietnam War. A war that greatly divided our country. Part of the cost was paid by donations from alumni. Mostly veterans themselves. The remainder of the cost was paid by a local company. Which has close connections with our school. (4) 

from the Commonsense Guide to Grammar and Usage pages 17 - 24

June 7, 2013 at 8:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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