Fragments and Run-on Sentences

As a rule, a part of a sentence should not be treated as a complete sentence. A sentence must be composed of at least one full independent clause. An independent clause has a subject and verb and can stand alone as a sentence. Some fragments are clauses that contain a subject and a verb but begin with a subordinating word. Other fragments lack a subject, verb, or both. A sentence fragment can be repaired by combining the fragment with a nearby sentence, punctuating the new sentence correctly, or turning the fragment into a sentence by adding the missing elements. In some cases, sentence fragments are used by writers for emphasis. Although sentence fragments are sometimes acceptable, readers and writers do not always agree on when they are appropriate. A conservative approach is to write only in complete sentences unless a special circumstance dictates otherwise. Run-on sentences are independent clauses that have not been joined correctly. An independent clause is a word group that does or could stand alone in a sentence.


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Last updated: 12/15/2017
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