Sentence fragments, also known as incomplete sentences, are a common grammatical error that writers make in papers and other text. Using a sentence fragment checker will help eliminate this type of mistake as will a thorough understanding of incomplete sentences. To help you gain further insight into sentence fragments we have provided answers to some of the most frequent questions people have regarding incomplete sentences.

FAQ About Sentence Fragments and Fragments Checker

Q: What are fragments in grammar?

A: Sentence fragments are incomplete sentences. To understand what a fragment is you need to know what constitutes a complete sentence. To be a complete sentence a group of words requires 3 things: a subject (person or thing performing the action), a verb (the action the subject performs) and it must express a complete thought. A group of words missing one or more of these things is a sentence fragment and cannot stand on its own as a sentence. 

Q: What are the four types of sentence fragments?

A: Sentence fragments occur due to one of four basic reasons:

errors that can be detected by sentence fragment checker
  1. Missing subject. When a group of words has no subject it is a fragment.  Example: “Swam across the pool.” We don’t know who or what swam across the pool as there is no subject to tell us. The fragment can be made complete by adding a subject. Example: “Mary swam across the pool.”
  2. Missing verb. When there is no verb in the sentence the reader has no idea what is happening. Example: “One of the greatest challenges in golf.” There is no verb telling us what the challenge is. The fragment can be corrected by adding a verb. Example: “One of the greatest challenges in golf is hitting a hole-in-one.”
  3. Missing subject and verb. When both subject and verb are missing the reader doesn’t know who did what. Example: “Over the fence.”  To fix the incomplete sentence add a subject and verb. Example: “The horse jumped over the fence.”
  4. Fails to express a complete thought. A group of words can have a subject and a verb but still fail to be a sentence because it fails to express a complete thought. There are several reasons a group of words may not express a complete thought including participle phrases, subordinating conjunctions and phrases that begin with an infinitive. Example: “Because she studied hard.” In this case, the fragment doesn’t express a complete thought due to the subordinating conjunction making the sentence a dependent clause. The error can be corrected by adding an independent clause. Example: “Lisa passed the test because she studied hard.”

Q: How do most sentence fragments occur?

A: Sentence fragments can happen for many different reasons. Some of the most common causes of incomplete sentences include:

  • Missing subject and/or verb. To be a complete sentence a group of words must have a subject and a verb.
  • Starting a sentence with subordinating conjunction. Subordinating conjunction such as because, although, since or when at the beginning of a sentence makes it a dependent clause and a sentence fragment unless supported by an independent clause.
  • Participle phrases. A participle phrase usually begins with a verb ending in “-ing” or “-ed” are not able to express a complete thought on their own.
  • Appositives. An appositive defines or explains the preceding noun or pronoun. They are usually offset by commas and add additional clarifying or identifying information to the main subject but lack action verbs.
  • Afterthought fragments. These are generally caused by beginning a phrase with the transitions especially, for example, for instance, like, such as, including, excluding, and except.

Q: How do you identify incomplete sentences and how can I check if a sentence is correct online?

A: Sentence fragments can be detected by checking to see if they have all 3 of the elements required to make a complete sentence. If they are missing a subject, a verb or fail to express a complete thought then they are a sentence fragment. Identifying them is not as easy as it sounds and proofreading and editing for sentence fragments can be a time-consuming and difficult process and you still may miss some mistakes. An alternative is to use sentence fragment corrector software like ours to identify incomplete sentences in your text. Our incomplete sentence checker not only identifies fragments; it also enables you to fix sentence fragments online free by recommending corrections for the errors it detects.

About Our Sentence Fragment Checker

Our sentence fragment finder is a writing tool that enables you to identify and fix fragmented sentence online. There are many features our find run on fragment sentences app offers that users can benefit from:

fragment detector features
  • Detects incomplete sentences in your text. Our sentence fragment finder is accurate and will identify every fragment your text contains.
  • Correct sentence fragments. Our convert a fragment to a sentence tool makes recommendations on how to correct a sentence fragment mistake it finds.
  • Multi-purpose. Our fragment finder is good for more than detecting and repairing sentence fragments. It also identifies and corrects many other grammatical errors including run on sentences, punctuation errors, verb tense problems and pronoun-related mistakes. It also is a spelling checker, examines word usage and the tone of your text as well as identifying whether you are using an active or passive voice.
  • Saves time. It generally requires one minute or less for our tool to perform a complete analysis of your text depending on the length.
  • Works on all text. Our fragment fixer works with any type of text including academic papers, articles, blog posts, memos, letters, emails or any other type of writing you may want to edit.
  • Free. Our tool is free so you can make use of it even if you have a limited budget

All these features add up to the perfect tool for correcting fragments and run-ons in paragraphs and you will want to use it for all your editing tasks.

How to Fix an Incomplete Sentence

Finding and correcting sentence fragments is not an easy process. We have compiled a list of best practices that can help you when you have to fix an incomplete sentence:

tips on how to fix an incomplete sentence
  1. Watch out for subordinate clauses. A phrase that begins with subordinate conjunction such as although, because, since and when is a dependent clause. Example: “Because I was late.”  There are two ways to fix this type of mistake. The first is to attach the dependent clause to an independent clause. Example: “I skipped breakfast because I was late.” The second is to remove the subordinate conjunction. Example: “I was late.”
  2. Look for sentences that begin with verbs ending in ‘-ing” or “-ed”. Phrases that start with words ending in ing and ed are often participle phrases. No verb ending in ing can be the complete verb of the sentence. Example: “The man running down the road.” The solution here is to add a helping verb. Example: “The man was running down the road.”
  3. Make sure there is a subject. To be a complete sentence a group of words must contain a subject.  Example: “Went for a walk in the park.” The fragment is corrected by adding a subject.  Example: “Larry went for a walk in the park.”
  4. Make sure there is a verb. All sentences require a verb. If there is no verb in a group of words it is an incomplete sentence. Example: “Every week my neighbor.”  To turn fragment into complete sentence add a verb. Example: “Every week my neighbor cuts the grass.”
  5. Beware of infinitive phrases. Infinitive phrases begin with the word “to” plus a verb and are dependent clauses. Example: “I took the day off last Thursday. To find a new apartment.” To fix the fragment just combine in with an independent clause. Example: “I took the day off last Thursday to find a new apartment.”

The above are some of the more common things to look out for when fixing sentence fragments but there are others. The fact is when people start hearing about subordinate conjunctions, dependent clauses, participle phrases and infinitive phrases in relation to fixing sentence fragments they get intimidated. Are you still thinking I don’t know how to fix my sentence fragment? Our sentence fragment helper is the answer when you ask can you help me fix my fragment sentence. It will identify every type of sentence fragment in your text as well as provide you with suggestions on how to correct those mistakes. Even experienced writers may overlook a sentence fragment in their text but our fragment detector will ensure there are no incomplete sentences in your text making it an essential tool for the editing process.

Advantages of Our Sentence Fragment Corrector and How It Works

There are plenty of advantages to using our sentence fragment corrector. It detects and corrects numerous types of errors including fragments as well as making recommendations on how to fix them. Our online writing tool is fast, accurate, free to use and works on any type of text. It is also very easy to use. To analyze your text you need only follow these simple steps:

how sentence fragment finder works
  1. Enter your text. Copy and paste your text into the provided field. You can also type directly into the field.
  2. Start text analysis. Click the button to begin analyzing your text.
  3. Receive your report. You will receive a report identifying sentence fragments and other types or errors in your text. This report will include recommendations on how to correct any mistakes detected.
  4. Complete the suggested corrections

The following are a few examples of incomplete sentences fixed by our fragment corrector:

Example #1: “My dog swallowed a tennis ball yesterday. So I went to the vet.”

Correction: “My dog swallowed a tennis ball yesterday so I went to the vet.”

The dependent clause was combined with the independent clause.

Example #2: “Hiking down the mountain trail during vacation. I tripped and broke my leg.”

Correction: “Hiking down the mountain trail during vacation, I tripped and broke my leg.”

Again the dependent clause was combined with the independent clause. A comma was included because the dependent clause preceded the dependent clause.

Example #3: “The child sitting in the sandbox, playing with his toys.”

Correction: “The child was sitting in the sandbox playing with his toys.”

A helping verb was added to correct the fragment.

To ensure a paper free of incomplete sentences use our sentence fragment checker on your next writing assignment!