Grammar Comics #1: Sentence Fragments

Do you have a problem forming sentences in English? The characters in our new grammar cartoon come unstuck making cookies thanks to sentence fragments.

A sentence fragment fails to be a sentence in the sense that it cannot stand by itself. Read the cartoon below  to learn more about sentence fragments and how to avoid them.

The three sentence fragments in this cartoon are:

  • After you add the sugar.
  • While you beat the eggs.
  • Before you put them in the oven.

These sentences have incomplete ideas and end too quickly. After reading these sentences, the cartoon characters asks questions because they need more information. A sentence fragment is a sentence that is incomplete.

For a sentence to be complete, it must have:

1: A subject. This is the person, place, or thing performing or doing the action.
2: A verb. This is the action.
3: A complete thought. This stops the reader waiting for another word.

The three sentence fragments in the cartoon have a subject and a verb but there is no complete idea. Here's how they could look as complete sentences:

  • After you add the sugar, you add the milk.
  • Build up a froth while you beat the eggs.
  • Make sure the cookies are the right shape before you put them in the oven.

Sentences can sometimes have two complete ideas. These are called run-on sentences. Read our "How to Fix Run-On Sentences" blog post for more information.

Thanks to David Rickert for creating this grammar comic.

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