Breaking the Fragments: Why Complete Sentences Matter in Writing

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Meridean Overseas

Updated On 10 April 2023 & Read Time 3 minutes

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Overview

Writing is one of the most important skills that we develop throughout our lives. From school assignments to work-related reports, we are constantly required to write effectively in order to convey our ideas and opinions. However, one common mistake that many writers make is using sentence fragments. In this blog, we will discuss what sentence fragments are, why they should be avoided, and provide examples to help you understand the importance of using complete sentences in your writing. 

What is a Sentence Fragment?

A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence that is missing either a subject, a verb, or both. Essentially, a sentence fragment is a group of words that do not form a complete thought. These fragments can occur for a variety of reasons, such as a writer not fully developing their thoughts, or not understanding the rules of grammar and sentence structure. 

Why Should Sentence Fragments Be Avoided?

Sentence fragments can create confusion and ambiguity in writing. They can also make it difficult for readers to understand the writer's intended message. In addition, sentence fragments can make writing appear unprofessional and sloppy. Therefore, it is important to avoid them in all forms of writing.

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Sentence Fragments Example

1. Walking down the street.

This is a sentence fragment because it is missing a subject and a verb. Who is walking down the street? What are they doing? This fragment does not provide enough information to form a complete thought.

 

2. After the game, which was intense and exciting.

This is a sentence fragment because it is a dependent clause. Although it has a subject and a verb, it does not form a complete thought on its own.

 

3. The car, parked in the garage.

This is a sentence fragment because it is a dependent clause. It is missing a main clause to provide context and a complete thought.

 

4. Running as fast as she could, the finish line in sight.

This is a sentence fragment because it is a dependent clause. Although it has a subject and a verb, it does not provide enough information to form a complete thought.

How to Fix Sentence Fragments?

The easiest way to fix sentence fragments is to add a subject, a verb, or both, to the fragment to create a complete sentence. Consider the following examples:

 

  1. Walking down the street, Jane noticed a cute dog. (Subject: Jane, Verb: noticed)

  2. After the game, which was intense and exciting, the team celebrated their victory. (Added a main clause to provide context and a complete thought)

  3. The car, parked in the garage, was covered in dust. (Added a main clause to provide context and a complete thought)

  4. Running as fast as she could, Emily crossed the finish line in first place. (Subject: Emily, Verb: crossed)

 

By adding a subject, a verb, or both, these sentence fragments were transformed into complete sentences that convey a clear message and provide the necessary information to the reader.

Conclusion

In conclusion, sentence fragments should be avoided in all forms of writing. They create confusion, ambiguity, and can make writing appear unprofessional. By understanding the rules of grammar and sentence structure, and by taking the time to develop complete thoughts, writers can avoid using sentence fragments and create clear, concise, and effective writing. Remember, a complete sentence includes a subject, a verb, and a complete thought. So, next time you're writing, make sure to double-check your sentences and avoid those pesky sentence fragments!

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