Fragments are sentences that are not complete or cannot stand alone. They can occur when the subject or the main verb in a sentence is missing OR when the sentence begins with a word that forces it to be dependent on another sentence to complete its meaning (dependent clause).
Complete sentence/independent clause = SUBJECT + VERB.
When a sentence is missing a subject (the WHO or WHAT), it is considered a fragment
and cannot stand alone.
When a sentence is missing a verb (the ACTION or WHAT HAPPENED), it is considered a fragment and cannot stand alone.
A dependent clause is a clause (or part of a sentence) that adds additional information to a sentence but cannot stand alone as its own sentence.
Complete sentence = Dependent clause, independent clause.
Complete sentence = Independent clause, dependent clause.
-> In both of these examples, the dependent clause is “while I was asleep.” It adds information to sentence, but it cannot stand alone because there is no subject (the cat) or a verb (knocked). In the first example, we need to add the subject and the verb (the WHO and the WHAT), and in the second example, we need a comma to separate the dependent clause from the independent clause.
-> In this example, the independent clause comes at the beginning of the sentence, and the added information/dependent clause comes towards the end. We still need a comma to separate the dependent clause from the independent clause.
HINT: Here are some examples of words that are commonly found in dependent clauses and introductory phrases (see example 1) OR used on their own as an introductory word, also known as transition words.
|in the first place||again||moreover|
|not only ...but also||to||as well as|
|as a matter of fact||and||together with|
|in like manner||also||of course|
|in the same fashion/way||identically||correspondingly|
|first, second, third||uniquely||similarly|
|in the light of||like||furthermore|
|not to mention||as||additionally|
|to say nothing of||too|
|by the same token|
|as can be seen||after all||overall|
|generally speaking||in fact||ordinarily|
|in the final analysis||in summary||usually|
|all things considered||in conclusion||by and large|
|as shown above||in short||to sum up|
|in the long run||in brief||on the whole|
|given these points||in essence||in any event|
|as has been noted||to summarize||in either case|
|in a word||on balance||all in all|
|for the most part||altogether|