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Sentence fragments are phrases or dependent clauses that
are erroneously used as sentences. A proper sentence must
contain a subject and a verb, which, together, can be called
an independent clause. An independent clause is a group of
words that can stand alone as a grammatical unit. A sentence
can have more than one independent clause, but it needs at
least one independent clause to be considered a sentence.
Many sentence fragments are dependent clauses, which cannot
The loudly crying infant in the back seat.
[Fragment: no verb] The loudly crying infant sat in the
back seat. [Sentence] The loudly crying infant in the back seat
had a fever. [Sentence]
Kept me from doing my homework. [Fragment:no
subject] Softball practice kept me from doing my homework.
On the rocks. [Fragment: no subject,
no verb] The fisherman sat on the rocks. [Sentence]
Because I haven't seen him in two days.
[Fragment: dependent clause: has a subject and a verb, but
cannot stand alone] I don't know if he's all right because I haven't
seen him in two days. [Sentence]
Many sentence fragments result from the improper use of a
word as a verb.
The computer with a color monitor. [Fragment:
no verb: with is not a verb] The computer has a color monitor.
[Sentence: has is a verb]