Set III, 16

FRAGMENTS

A fragment is a broken off piece or a part of a sentence. When you want to avoid fragments, watch out for the NO VERB fragment and the MISPLACED PERIOD.

The NO VERB fragment:

1. NO verb at all--

Jim, John, and Jasper down by the movie house with everyone else. (frag.) (WHERE IS THE VERB THAT TELLS THE READER WHAT JIM, JOHN, AND JASPER ARE DOING?) Jim, John, and Jasper waited down by the movie house with everyone else. (sentence)

2. -ING, -ED, or -EN VERB FORMS with NO predicate verb--

The man driving down the main street. (frag.) -ing (-ING VERB FORMS NEED A HELPING VERB TO BECOME THE PREDICATE VERB.) The man was driving down the main street. (sentence) or The man driving down the main street crashed into the sign. (sentence) Fred disturbed by the sudden noise of an explosion in the street. (frag.) -ED (-ED VERB FORMS NEED A HELPING VERB TO BECOME THE PREDICATE VERB.) Fred was disturbed by the sudden noise of an explosion in the street. (sentence) or Fred, disturbed by the sudden noise of an explosion in the street, looked out the window. (sentence) His ten-speed racer stolen by someone in the dorm with a wire cutter. (frag.) -EN (-EN VERB FORMS NEED A HELPING VERB TO BECOME THE PREDICATE VERB.) His ten-speed racer was stolen by someone in the dorm with a wire cutter. (sentence) or His ten-speed racer, stolen by someone in the dorm with a wire cutter, was found by the campus police. (sentence)

3. Verbs in subordinate clauses with NO predicate verb in the main clause

The photograph of the three men who had climbed the top of the snow covered hill. (frag.) (WHERE IS THE PREDICATE VERB THAT COMPLETES THE ACTION OF THE SUBJECT WORD "PHOTOGRAPH"?) The photograph of the three men who had climbed the top of the snow covered hill was published in the local paper. (sentence) OR The photograph showed the three men who had climbed the top of the snow covered hill. (sentence)

The MISPLACED PERIOD:

Sometimes a writer will interrupt a whole idea by putting a period in the middle of an idea. Purdue offers many majors in engineering. [Misplaced period] Such as electrical engineering, industrial engineering, and chemical engineering. (frag.) Purdue offers many majors in engineering, such as electrical engineering, industrial engineering, and chemical engineering. [Correctly placed period] Sometimes subordinate clauses get separated from main clauses because of a misplaced period. (Subordinate conjunctions such as BECAUSE, IF, ALTHOUGH, WHEN, AFTER, SINCE, UNTIL, ETC., are used to begin subordinate clauses.) I wasn't able to sleep all night. [Misplaced period] Because I was so worried about the exam. (frag.) I wasn't able to sleep all night because I was so worried about the exam. [Correctly placed period] (sentence)

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