Every complete sentence must have, at a minimum, a subject and an object. The sentence must also express a complete thought. If a sentence is lacking one of these three essential components, it is a sentence fragment. Below are several examples of common sentence fragments, along with possible corrections.
Every sentence must have at least three components to be considered a complete sentence:
Sentences can also have:
A sentence fragment is a sentence that:
The appropriate correction for sentence fragments depends on what is lacking. The sentence can be corrected by adding in a subject, or verb, joining the dependent clause with an independent clause, or completing the thought.
For example, each of the sentence fragments listed above can be corrected:
Here are some additional examples of sentence fragments, with corrections.
This is a sentence fragment because it is a dependent clause. "Since" is a subordinating conjunction, and this sentence can't stand alone.
We could correct this sentence by removing the word "since," so the sentence would simply read "I like fishing." I am the subject, like is the verb, fishing is the object.
We could also correct this sentence by joining the dependent clause with an independent clause: I am going to the lake, since I like fishing.
Again, we have a sentence fragment because of the subordinating conjunction "which."
This sentence could be corrected by removing "which is why." The sentence "I cried." is a complete sentence. I is the subject, cried is the action.
The sentence could also be corrected by joining it with an independent clause. I was sad, which is why I cried.