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Combining Sentences: Avoiding Fragments and Run-Ons.
Transcript of Combining Sentences: Avoiding Fragments and Run-Ons.
What do you suppose "fragment" means? How about "run-on"?
Sometimes students will get papers returned to them with comments such as "frag" or "c/s" written on them. But often students don't know what those comments mean.
Today we'll find out what that means and how to avoid it.
Simple sentences are a good place to start.
Every sentence needs, at least, a subject and a predicate (Words or groups of words that express action or state of being in a sentence and consist of one or more verbs, plus any complements or modifiers.)
Here's a simple sentence:
The students attended the workshop.
Can you identify the subject and predicate in this sentence?
The subject is the main noun in a sentence.
The predicate is the main verb in a sentence.
The students attended the workshop.
Sometimes even with simple sentences, fragments can occur.
During the game at Yankee Stadium. It began to rain.
I like to watch all kinds of movies. Especially documentaries.
I was running as fast as I could. Hoping to get there on time.
What do these sentences have in common?
Does each of them have a subject and a predicate?
Do any of them sound "off" to you?
Read from the first word in the sentence to the period. Does it make sense by itself? Does it have a subject and a predicate?
Finding a fragment can be easy.
There are two basic ways we can combine sentences.
One way is to create a compound sentence.
Another way is to create a complex sentence.
First, let's talk about compound sentences.
A compound sentence is two independent clauses separated by a comma and a coordinating conjunction.
Basically, what this means is:
A compound sentence is actually two sentences joined by a comma and one of these words:
I went to the movies with my friends, and I had a good time.
I like coffee, but the caffeine gives me a headache.
Let's practice writing our own compound sentences!
It's easy to make mistakes when writing compound sentences. Sometimes we forget the comma or the coordinating conjunction.
As a result, we could end up with a comma splice or a run-on.
Take a look at these
sentences, and see if
you can find the errors.
I left for school, my car wouldn't start.
I bought a new phone and I didn't like it but I was stuck with a two-year contract.
I went to the book store they didn't have my book.
A complex sentence is one in which an independent clause is joined to one or more dependent clauses by subordinating conjunctions.
Basically, a complex sentence is a simple sentence joined to another simple sentence using subordinating conjunctions, like these:
I bought the Honda Civic because it gets good gas mileage.
I bought a Honda Civic. Because it gets good gas mileage.
Can this clause stand alone?
Additional ways to fix sentence errors
Sometimes you can use a semi-colon to connect two clauses.
A semi-colon acts like a period and connects two related clauses.
I stayed out all night; I didn't get much sleep.
I stayed out all night; as a result, I didn't get much sleep.
Most sentence boundary errors (like fragments, comma splices, and run-ons) happen when we're unaware of how a sentence should be structured.
Sometimes these errors happen by accident.
Remember to proofread your work to check if every clause can either stand alone or is correctly connected to another clause.