Fragments and Run-Ons

Fragment Sentences

A complete sentence will have at least one subject and one verb. Sentences are considered fragments when they are missing either a subject or a verb. Consider the following two fragment sentences and their corrected versions:

  • No Subject: Went to the store to buy brownie mix.
  • Added Subject: My dad went to the store to buy brownie mix.
  • No Verb: Brownie mix at the store expensive.
  • Added Verb: Brownie mix at the store was expensive.

In addition to containing a subject and verb, a complete sentence will express a complete thought. Consider the following two sentences and their revised versions.

  • Incomplete: When he went to the checkout counter to pay for the brownie mix.
  • Complete: When he went to the checkout counter to pay for the brownie mix, he got distracted by a display of cake mixes.
  • Incomplete: The variety of yummy cake mixes.
  • Complete: The variety of yummy cake mixes convinced him that he’d rather bake a cake than brownies tonight.

Run-On Sentences (Run-Ons)

A run-on sentence occurs when two or more independent clauses are combined without correct punctuation. An independent clause is a complete, simple sentence, meaning that it contains a subject, a verb, and a complete thought. There are a few ways to correct run-on sentences. Consider the following run-on sentence and the following options for revising it.

Run-On: The grocery store was really packed with people there must have been a big sale today.

  • Correction 1: The grocery store was really packed with people. There must have been a big sale today.

Here, the error has been corrected by simply breaking the run-on sentence into two sentences.

  • Correction 2: The grocery store was really packed with people, so there must have been a big sale today.

In this case, the sentence has been corrected by adding a coordinating conjunction and a comma. This is a compound sentence.

  • Correction 3: Because the grocery store was really packed with people, there must have been a big sale.

In this example, the sentence has been corrected by adding a subordinating conjunction and a comma. This is a complex sentence.

Fragment Sentence Exercises

Some of the sentences below are fragments. Play editor on the sentences. Could you tell these writers why the fragments are incomplete sentences? Also, how would you tell the writers to fix them?

  • Then I attended Morris Junior High. A junior high that was a pleasant experience.
  • In the seventh grade every young boy goes out for football. To learn what it is like to be a part of a team.
  • She opened the door and let us into her home. Not realizing at the time that we would never enter that door in her home again.
  • Making up his mind quickly. Jim ordered two dozen red roses for his wife. Hoping she would accept his apology.
  • They were all having a good time. Until one of Joe’s oldest and best friends fell off of the swing set.

Run-On Sentence Exercises

Some of the sentences below are run-ons. Play editor on the sentences. Could you tell these writers why the run-ons are incorrect? Also, how would you tell the writers to fix them?

  • We were really busy at the restaurant tonight. I waited tables straight through from 3:30 to 11:30 I never sat down for even one break.
  • My dog had to go to the vet today. She cried and cried when the clipped her toenails, but then she was fine when they gave her a shot!
  • The book we had to read for class was really exciting my teacher doesn’t seem to mind that we take notes during our discussions.

A PDF of this page can be found here: Fragments and Run-Ons

Source: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/index.php?category_id=2&sub_category_id=1&article_id=33
This resource was written by Jaclyn M. Wells.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on August 7, 2009

BACK

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s