Examples of Sentence Fragments [With Corrections]

Sentence fragments are a group of words punctuated as a sentence, even though they’re not a sentence. Depending on how they’re used, they may be treated an error or an effective use.

In this post, we’ll cover several examples of fragment errors along with their corrections. Although fragment errors can be made in several ways, four patterns are common, under which these examples have been divided.

  1. Dependent clause fragments
  2. Missing-subject fragments
  3. Phrase fragments
  4. Details fragments

More resources on fragments:

Before we get into thick of things, here are few instructions for you to understand the examples and their corrections:

Wherever a fragment can be corrected by merely combining it, either with comma or nothing, with the preceding or succeeding sentence, the way to correct has been mentioned in comments like this:

You’ll hear few professionals say this. Especially artists and sportspersons. [Join with comma]

Following the instruction in the comment, you can correct the above fragment on your own. The corrected fragment in the above example would be: You’ll hear few professionals say this, especially artists and sportspersons.

Wherever the fragment requires more than just combining, the corrected sentence has also been provided.

Note: A fragment can be corrected in more than one way, but the correction provided here is usually the most straightforward way. Second, if you face difficulty in identifying fragment in the examples, here is the key: In examples 2 and 15-18, first of the two is a fragment; in all other, second is a fragment.

1. Dependent clause fragments

A dependent clause fragment results when you write a dependent clause as a sentence. (To understand why some corrections take comma and some don’t, you’ll have to learn punctuation rules that govern combining dependent clauses to independent clauses.) Examples:

1. I’ll finish the task on time. Provided that no one disturbs me and no other work is given till then. [Adverb clause. Join without comma]

2. Just as we thought the pandemic was over and life was returning to normal. Another mutant emerged. [Adverb clause. Join with comma]

3. We should be prepared for times like these. When neither regular nor backup power works. [Relative clause. Join without comma]

4. You should have at least few real friends. Whom you can rely on in times of need. [Relative clause. Join with comma]

5. Many get so tunnel-focused that they fail to see paths other than their current job. Which may ironically be hurting their pursuit of happiness. [Relative clause. Join with comma]

2. Missing-subject fragments

This type of fragment results when subject is omitted in the mistaken belief that the subject from the previous sentence carries on to the fragment as well. Examples:

6. People often get lost in large organizations, where they become just one of the cogs in a large wheel. Better is to be an important cog in a smaller organization and make tangible impact.

People often get lost in large organizations, where they become just one of the cogs in a large wheel. It is better to be an important cog in a smaller organization and make tangible impact.

7. After the bitter public quarrel, Tom left his family and town to work in another. But made up and returned after six months.

After the bitter public quarrel, Tom left his family and town to work in another, but he made up and returned after six months.

8. Newton proposed the three famous laws of motion. And also did exceptional work in astronomy.

Newton proposed the three famous laws of motion and also did exceptional work in astronomy.

9. Tom hardly helps others. Yet expects others to help him in time of need.

Tom hardly helps others, yet he expects others to help him in time of need.

10. I was not feeling well. So decided to withdraw from the competition.

I was not feeling well, so I decided to withdraw from the competition.

11. You can’t slow down too much in a test. Otherwise, will struggle to complete it, an even bigger problem.

You can’t slow down too much in a test. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to complete it, an even bigger problem. [You can use a semicolon as well.]

3. Phrase fragments

We just saw examples of fragments arising out of missing subjects. Sometimes, a fragment may result from a missing verb (fully or partly). And sometimes, from a missing verb (fully or partly) and subject. Most of these fragments are essentially phrases, such as participial phrase, infinitive, noun phrase, and absolute phrase. Examples:

12. I decided to focus on few key goals. Those that will make the most impact in my life. [Noun phrase as fragment. Join with comma. After correction, the noun phrase will function as an appositive.]

13. Despite opposition from the overworked train drivers, the transport department is planning to bring back trains under repair to ease crowding. A move snowballing into a controversy, with some politicians jumping on to the side of drivers. [Same as #12]

14. The university recently launched a two-week marketing course. WhatsApp marketing for all students who have enrolled for a minor in marketing. [Same as #12]

The university recently launched a two-week WhatsApp marketing course for all students who have enrolled for a minor in marketing. [An alternative correction]

15. His teeth clenched. He lifted 250 pounds in the very first attempt. [Absolute phrase as fragment. Join with comma]

16. Her fingers flying across the keyboard. She finished the report in less than two hours. [Same as #15]

17. Sweat dripping from his forehead. He pedalled the bicycle vigorously. [Same as #15]

18. A victory looking certain. The player slackened the intensity. [Same as #15]

19. It’s best to keep a hedge – and not a completely opaque, solid wall – between friends. To ensure just the right mix of intimacy and distance. [Infinitive phrase as fragment. Join without comma]

20. The construction company has executed all sorts of projects. A primary school building running into few thousand dollars to large infrastructure projects, such as city transport running into billions of dollars. [Noun phrase as fragment. Put a colon before the fragment]

The construction company has executed all sorts of projects, ranging from primary school building running into few thousand dollars to large infrastructure projects, such as city transport running into billions of dollars. [An alternative correction]

21. To resolve the issue, the board set up a committee. The committee set up to decide whether to sell the media house’s technology blog or not. [Noun phrase as fragment]

To resolve the issue, the board set up a committee, which will decide whether to sell the media house’s technology blog or not.

22. Seeing his impeccable track record, Tom was appointed the head coach. The former player who was a commentator before taking charge as head coach of the team in the aftermath of frosty relations between the then head coach and the captain. [Noun phrase as fragment]

Seeing his impeccable track record, Tom was appointed the head coach. The former player was a commentator before taking charge as head coach of the team in the aftermath of frosty relations between the then head coach and the captain. [You could’ve used the noun phrase as an appositive immediately after Tom, but that would’ve created a long interruption.]

23. After settling down in my cabin, I began earnestly with my to-do list. Starting with easy-to-do stuff to get the psychological boost of completing few items in the first few hours in the day. [Participial phrase as fragment. Join with comma]

4. Details fragments

This type of fragment results while adding details using words such as for example, for instance, such as, including, especially, among them, and so on. Examples:

24. If a decision comes from own choice, we don’t feel bad if it turns out to be bad. Examples: picking college, college major, or career.

If a decision such as picking college, college major, or career comes from own choice, we don’t feel bad if it turns out to be bad.

25. People do well when they’ve personal interest in the work they’re doing. For example, a task that is their hobby.

People do well when they’ve personal interest in the work they’re doing. For example, they’ll be deeply interested in a hobby.

26. You can judge someone based on his surroundings. For instance, a person living in a messy house.

You can judge someone based on his surroundings. For instance, a person living in a messy house is messy.

27. You’ll hear few professionals say this. Especially artists and sportspersons. [Join with comma]

28. You’ve to constantly nurture relationships. Including friendship. [Join with comma]

29. Several candidates applied for the job, and unsurprisingly the person who got selected has strong network in several companies. Including in his future workplace. [Join with comma]

30. Many start-ups are building products and services on innovations of the past. Such as blockchain, UPI, and GPT 3. [Join with comma]

31. We’ve seen that GPA and test scores are worthless criteria for hiring. Except for brand-new college grads, where there’s a slight correlation. [Join with comma]

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