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Skidmore College
The Skidmore Guide to Writing

Sentence Fragments

A fragment is an incomplete sentence; it lacks something to complete the thought. The most obvious fragments are missing either a subject or a main verb.

The following is a fragment:  Hiding a rabid gorilla in Becky's dorm room.

This has a verb, but no subject. It leaves you wondering, "who was hiding a rabid gorilla in Becky's dorm room?" We need more information. We could make this a complete sentence by saying, "Jennifer was hiding a rabid gorilla in Becky's dorm room."

Another fragment:  The Skidmore student.

A complete sentence needs a "who" and a "what." The sentence above has a subject ("who") but no verb ("what"). So, the sentence leaves you wondering "what about the Skidmore student?" As a complete sentence, this might read, "The Skidmore student fell asleep in class."

Click here to read more about fragments in the context of correct grammar.