Best Fragments and Run-on Sentences Review
Fragments and Run-on Sentences
A fragment is an incomplete sentence or thought that cannot stand on its own. It can’t stand on its own, it is incomplete, because it’s missing either a noun or a verb.
Let’s look at some examples of fragments. “The beautiful, blooming daisies in my yard.” This has a lot of information. “The beautiful, blooming daisies in my yard.” You have your noun, some adjectives to describe it, an article adjective, and you’ve got a prepositional phrase that tells you where they are. However, you’re missing something. You’re missing the verb. This one is a fragment.
You can have a longer fragment that looks like a sentence and still have it be a fragment, because it’s missing either the noun or the verb. We had our noun, but we were missing our verb. Even though it looks long and looks like it could be a sentence, don’t be fooled by the length of a fragment. Just because a phrase is long doesn’t mean it’s a complete sentence.
Let’s look at another example. “Waited all day at my house for you.” In this sentence, we have an action, “waiting”. We’ve got our verb. “…all day out my house for you.” You see some pronouns in there, but there’s no noun. There’s no subject of this sentence. You’re missing a subject noun in this one, so it’s still a fragment. You’ve got the verb part and the predicate part of your sentence, but you don’t have the subject part. This is a fragment; is not a complete sentence.
When you’re looking for fragments, look for either missing a verb or a missing noun, because if you’re missing one of those, your fragment cannot stand on its own. It will not be a complete sentence. In your writing, you’ll need to revise these. Often, you can just add a little bit to a fragment to make it a complete sentence. “The beautiful blooming daisies in my yard look so nice this time of year.” “…smell wonderful.” “…are going to win the contest.” You can finish the sentence in any way. “Waited all day at my house for you.” You could say, “We waited all day at my house for you.” “I waited.” “My mom and I waited.” It’s a little bit more limited what you could put at the beginning of this sentence, because we’ve got “my” and ‘you” for pronouns down here, but you still have options. You could easily turn this fragment into a complete sentence.
Now, let’s look at run-on sentence. A run-on sentence is a sentence that should be written as two sentences. It’s too long. It contains too much information and is confusing to the reader. If it’s running on and on and on, then it’s likely there’s not correct punctuation and there are too many nouns and too many verbs crammed into one sentence. You need to break it up so that you’ve got separate, complete thoughts and it’s easier for the reader to understand. Let’s look at these examples of run-on sentences and then correct them. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard that there were going to be thunderstorms tomorrow, I was planning on having a barbecue outside to celebrate summer.” This was a lot of information.
We need to see where one thought ends and another one starts so that we can split it up. “I couldn’t believe it.” We want to know what she couldn’t believe. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard that there were going to be thunderstorms tomorrow.” All of that is one thought. We’re going to separate this and put a period. We would need to capitalize the next letter, but since it was “I”, it was automatically capitalized. “I was planning on having a barbecue outside to celebrate summer.” Now we have two complete sentences. They’re separate. It’s not too much information in each sentence and it’s not going to be confusing to the reader. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard that there were going to be thunderstorms tomorrow. I was planning on having a barbecue outside to celebrate summer.” Now it’s not so confusing. It doesn’t just run on and on and on. We didn’t have so many subjects and so many verbs in one sentence. We’ve separated it out and made it easier for the reader to understand right away.
Let’s look at our next example: “John and Mary had so much fun they went to the fair and rode rides and ate cotton candy.” For this one we need to find where we need to split up. We have another run-on sentence. We’ve got a lot of actions, but we need to see where we could split it up to keep the subject and verb of one sentence and the subject and verb of a second sentence and make it two complete sentences. We don’t want to split it up incorrectly and leave a fragment somewhere. John and Mary. Let’s look at what they did. “John and Mary had so much fun, they…” When we get to “they”, that’s a new pronoun. That’s a new subject, so we should stop there. “John and Mary had so much fun.” Then, if we’re starting a new sentence, we need to capitalize our “t” in “they”. “John and Mary had so much fun. They went to the fair, and rode rides, and ate cotton candy.” Now we have two complete thoughts.
First, we’re are saying that they had fun, then we’re saying how they had fun. We didn’t keep it a run-on sentence where we had this pronoun in the middle of this sentence making it sound a little confusing. We have John and Mary having fun, and then they went to the fair, and rode rides, and ate cotton candy. We split it up into two sentences that are easier to understand. You also would want to revise any run-on sentences in your writing. If you see a sentence that’s going on and on for three or four lines, you probably need to find somewhere in there to break it up so that it isn’t a run-on sentence.
You can have sentences that are more complex if you’re using semicolons, etc., but you don’t want it to be so long that there are too many ideas in one sentence. When you’re writing, make sure you don’t have any incomplete thoughts that are missing a noun or verb. You don’t want any fragments in your writing. Make sure that none of your sentences are going on so long and including too much information that it makes it a run-on sentence.
Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation
Last updated: 07/10/2018