A sentence is a grammatical unit that has a subject (noun or pronoun), a verb, and usually other words, (a combination of the eight parts of speech: verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, conjunction, preposition, interjection) to complete the thought. Complete sentences convey complete thoughts. Sentence fragments, unless artfully used, suggest that thinking is underveloped, because only a piece of a complete thought is presented. A fragment usually lacks a subject (noun or pronoun) or a verb but has been punctuated as a complete sentence.
Example of a sentence fragment:
This sentence has a subject and a verb but no words to complete the thought. "Adore" is a verb that needs an object. You can turn this fragment into a sentence by completing the thought:
Some simple sentences are adequate with a subject and a verb because the verb doesn't need an object to make sense:
Sentence fragments often are used in conversation or dialogue as simple answers to questions.
Example of a sentence fragment missing a verb:
You can turn this fragment into a sentence by completing the thought:
The second "sentence" is a fragment because it has no noun or pronoun as a subject and is an incomplete thought. The second phrase should be part of the previous complete sentence:
In this second example, words have to be moved so the sentence and phrase fragment make sense together:
The corrected sentence merges the two thoughts:
TIP: One way to recognize sentence fragments is to learn which words often signal phrases or incomplete thoughts, such as: although, because, especially, even, except, for example, if, including, instead of, so that, since, such as, that, which, who, and when. Sentence fragments don't begin necessarily with such tip-off words, but when you see one in your writing, check to make sure it doesn't introduce a fragment.