Exercises on Sentence Fragment

Sentence fragments are a group of words punctuated as a sentence, even though they’re not a sentence.

Here are four exercises for you to practice identifying and correcting sentence fragments. The first is a warmup. The other three require more work.

More resources on fragments:

Identify sentence fragments

Which of these are sentence fragments and which are sentences?

Exercise 1

1. How to block social media from snooping on you?

2. The author delves in great detail on religions worshipping one God while denying the existence of other gods.

3. When a twig grows hard?

4. His arms crossed in front of him.

5. The nervousness we show when we think the person next to us is a dangerous element.

Answers to Exercise 1

1. Fragment

It doesn’t contain a verb (to block is an infinitive).

2. Not a fragment

3. Fragment

It’s a dependent clause, like in this sentence: When a twig grows hard, it is difficult to twist it. The sentence would be: When does a twig grow hard?

4. Fragment

His arms were crossed in front of him would be a sentence.

5. Fragment

Which of the following is a sentence fragment?

Identify sentence fragments in each exercise. Also, correct the fragment if you find one. Note that unlike the first exercise, this and the next two have two groups of words in each question.

Exercise 2

1. You’ll face challenges, big and small, when you move out of your comfort zone, but they shouldn’t deter you. Keep moving.

2. In the fifth category, each example contains mix of adverbial words, adverbial phrases, adverbial clauses, and sentence adverbials. A scenario closer to reality and hence the place to practice your adverbial skills.

3. Some countries are investing heavily in modern technologies. Such as AI, genomics, and electric vehicles.

4. Pretend that everything is fine. Even if it’s for a short while.

5. I went to the library to check the new arrivals. Incidentally met an old colleague there.

Answers to Exercise 2

1. Not a fragment

Keep moving an imperative sentence, with you as implied subject.

2. Fragment: A scenario closer to reality and hence the place to practice your adverbial skills.

In the fifth category, each example contains mix of adverbial words, adverbial phrases, adverbial clauses, and sentence adverbials – a scenario closer to reality and hence the place to practice your adverbial skills. [The fragment, a noun phrase, is now functioning as an appositive.]

3. Fragment: Such as AI, genomics, and electric vehicles.

Some countries are investing heavily in modern technologies, such as AI, genomics, and electric vehicles.

4. Fragment: Even if it’s for a short while.

Pretend that everything is fine, even if it’s for a short while.

5. Fragment: Incidentally met an old colleague there.

I went to the library to check the new arrivals. Incidentally, I met an old colleague there.

Exercise 3

1. He claimed to have won state level championship in chess. Butstruggled to make even basic moves.

2. Experts debated when Covid would end. But no consensus was reached.

3. In business, sworn competitors can join hands for mutual benefit. For example, Uber and DiDi Chuxing in China.

4. We take care of slightest of their problems and make them too dependent on elders. A trait which may carry on later in their lives.

5. It serves an important reminder to our educational institutions. Especially higher education.

Answers to Exercise 3

1. Fragment: But struggled to make even basic moves.

He claimed to have won state level championship in chess but struggled to make even basic moves.

2. Not a fragment

3. Fragment: For example, Uber and DiDi Chuxing in China.

In business, sworn competitors can join hands for mutual benefit. For example, Uber held shares in DiDi Chuxing, even though they once fought fierce battle for market share.

4. Fragment: A trait which may carry on later in their lives.

We take care of slightest of their problems and make them too dependent on elders, a trait which may carry on later in their lives. [The fragment, a noun phrase, is now functioning as an appositive.]

5. Fragment: Especially higher education.

It serves an important reminder to our educational institutions, especially higher education.

Exercise 4

1. He being generous to people in need. Some started taking advantage of him.

2. You won’t do well in school and, later, college. Unless you stop wasting time on endless entertainment.

3. You must take the bull by horns. Which means take on challenging matters head on right in the beginning instead of shying away from them.

4. What drill to follow if fire breaks out in the building? I don’t know.

5. Why did he miss the exam? No one knows.

Answers to Exercise 4

1. Fragment: He being generous to people in need.

He being generous to people in need, some started taking advantage of him.

2. Fragment: Unless you stop wasting time on endless entertainment.

You won’t do well in school and, later, college unless you stop wasting time on endless entertainment.

3. Fragment: Which means take on challenging matters head on right in the beginning instead of shying away from them.

You must take the bull by horns, which means take on challenging matters head on right in the beginning instead of shying away from them.

4. Fragment: What drill to follow if fire breaks out in the building?

What drill should you follow if fire breaks out in the building? I don’t know.

5. Not a fragment

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