What is a?

Upon reading the above sentence, you were left wondering about what the question is asking for, right? It is missing something and the sentence is simply incomplete. In English grammar, this is what a sentence fragment looks like.

So, what is a sentence fragment?

A sentence fragment is a group of words with a missing thought, it may appear correct but the subject or a verb may have been missing to deliver a complete message to stand by itself. As we progress in writing, some sentences appear to be complicated, and harder to spot what basic elements are missing out.

In order to fix a sentence fragment, we must first identify what is lacking, which could either be the subject or the verb (if it doesn’t express an action). It might also be a dependent clause that could be attached to nearby sentences to form an independent clause.

1. A subject or a verb must be indicated to create a thought, always remember to identify if the main clauses are present.

Incorrect: Playing with the dogs in her leisure time. (Who is playing with the dogs?)

Correct: Alicia is playing with the dogs in her leisure time.

2. Attach the dependent to an independent clause to deliver the complete sentence, the dependent clause could also be separated with the use of comma or a semicolon.

Incorrect: Nathaniel is an extrovert. Because he loves outdoor activities. (Who loves outdoor activities?)

Correct: Nathaniel is an extrovert because he loves outdoor activities.

There are other ways to fix a sentence fragment, some depend on what part of a sentence is missing or was inappropriately used.

The above-mentioned techniques used to reconstruct the fragments into a sentence are probably the most common mistakes that we encounter. Always re-read and rewrite to identify if there are missing ideas that are necessary to avoid incomplete thoughts.

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Kristine Gallego

Kristine is currently a Senior Designer in a Japanese architectural firm. She took up her studies in BS Architecture at the Technological Institute of the Philippines-Manila. During her college days, she was a consistent student leader and successfully topped her thesis exhibit as 6th placer. Along with her passion for design and arts, she's also an enthusiastic reader and an avid fan of historical documentaries. Studying history and human behavior is where her curiosity often brings her. The composition style of her literary pieces are inspired by dream-like scenarios, an alternate world to escape out of reality. Because her goal as a writer is to spread a positive vibe for the readers and to learn from them in return.