Sentence Fragments (Incomplete Sentences)

1. A sentence must have a subject and a verb if it is to make sense.

Incorrect: John, being a friendly computer salesman and baseball fan.
(No verb)

Correct: John, being a friendly computer salesman and baseball fan, refused to argue.
(John--the subject--is doing something, namely, refusing.)

2. A subordinate clause (also sometimes called a dependent clause) is not a complete sentence if it does not have a main clause even though it may have a subject and verb.

Incorrect: Because we are baseball fans.

Correct: We watched the All-Star Game because we are baseball fans.

There is nothing wrong with beginning a sentence with the word because as long as the clause with because is followed by a main clause.

Correct: Because we are baseball fans, we watched the All-Star Game.

3. Sometimes in conversation only sentence fragments make sense.

OK, if you are recording a conversation, otherwise incorrect: She asked, "Why did you watch that baseball game?"

"Because we are baseball fans."


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