San Jose City College

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Sentence Fragments

If you look at the guy in the picture, you know immediately that something is missing. He doesn't have a neck! He's also missing ears and a nose. And where are the eyebrows?

A sentence fragment has a lot in common with this elementary drawing. A fragment is an incomplete sentence, or just a piece of a sentence. It's missing one or more essential elements.

To understand fragments, you have to first understand the essential elements of a sentence. What are the essential elements of a sentence? It's very simple: a sentence must have a subject and a verb and express a complete thought. If you can tell the difference between complete and incomplete thoughts, you will be able to recognize fragments (incomplete thoughts).