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How to Fix Sentence Fragments | Guide to Improve Content Clarity

A sentence fragment refers to an incomplete sentence that is used instead of a complete sentence.

The reason why sentence fragments are not considered to be complete sentences is that they lack all three or one of the three important components.


Sentence fragments are generally found in conversational writing, like text messages.

In formal writing, there is no tolerance for it, and in case your content has sentence fragments in it, then your work might get rejected. 


A complete and clear sentence should have the following components:


  • A clear sentence should express a complete thought. It should have a context.

  • The sentence must have a clear subject. The subject can be a person or a thing that the sentence is all about. The subject is generally a noun or pronoun.

  • The sentence must always have a verb that expresses an action.


Fixing a sentence fragment is important, but before we tell you some important tips to fix this issue, we would suggest you go through some examples of different types of sentence fragments.

Below we have discussed some points and examples that would help you identify a sentence fragment.


How to Identify Sentence Fragments?

Different types of sentence fragments have been discussed here for your understanding:


1. Sentence Fragment Would Not Have a Subject 


• Example: Drinking Milk. 

In this sentence fragment, you can see that there is no subject. It is unclear who or what is drinking milk! Lack of subject is a common trait of a sentence fragment that makes them identifiable.


2. Sentence Fragment Doesn’t Have an Action Verb 


• Example: Bob in the house.

In this sentence, there is no verb. Missing action verbs makes the sentence incomplete. You don’t know what Bob is doing in the house. Without proper action, the sentence would be considered a fragment.


3. Sentence Fragment Would Be Without Context 


• Example: For instance, Cookies and Ice Cream.

This sentence is incomplete because there is no complete thought supporting it. What are cookies and ice cream examples of? There is no context to the example, which is why it is considered to be incomplete.


4. Sentence Fragment Would Not Have an Independent Clause


• Example: Because Peter ran to the park.

The use of because in the sentence makes the clause dependent. The sentence needs to stand alone or be joined with an independent clause in order to be complete. Here we don’t know why Peter ran to the park!


How to Fix a Fragment Sentence Like an Expert?

The simplest way to fix a sentence fragment in formal writing is to complete it. You have to add the missing part.

Below are some popular practices to fix incomplete fragment sentences.


1. Revise by Adding the Missing Part in The Fragment 

To fix a fragment sentence, you have to first identify the missing part. You need to find whether the sentence is missing the subject, direct object, or action verb of the independent clause.

A sentence fragment would have at least one of these elements missing.

You have to add the missing part of the fragment to give it an independent and complete context. 


Example: Missed breakfast. (Incomplete sentence fragment)

Revised Version: John missed his breakfast.  

Example: Enjoying his latest novel.

Revised Version: Peter was enjoying reading his latest novel. 


In both these examples, you can see that the sentence fragment has been fixed. In both examples, we added missing actions and subjects to complete the sentence. 


2. Attach The Fragment with A Complete Sentence

Another easy way to fix sentence fragments is by attaching them to a nearby sentence that is complete. Let us check out an example:


Example: I forgot stationery. On the morning of my IELTS test.

Attached version: I forgot stationary on the morning of my IELTS test.


In this example, you can read that we have attached the incomplete fragment with a nearby sentence. As a result, the fixed version gives more clarity and complete thought.


3. Rephrase The Incomplete Sentence Fragments 

A very popular way, and our personal favorite, is rephrasing the sentence fragment.

Rewriting the sentence fragment or the entire paragraph which has the fragments would help you create complete, unique, and easy-to-digest sentences.


Manually rephrasing an incomplete sentence fragment can be tough as it requires good writing skills. You can use an online sentence rephraser to rephrase the fragment and complete it. 


Example: The new landlord was expected to make amends. Fixing the pipes, installing tanks, and replacing the solar panels. Because of the storm. Weeks have passed. Has started nothing yet.


Rephrased Version: The new landlord was expected to make amends like fixing pipes, installing new tanks, and replacing solar panels which were damaged in the storm. A few weeks have passed, and he still hasn’t initiated any work to date. 


You can see that the rephrased version created by the online sentence rephraser is clear, complete, and meaningful, unlike the sentence fragments in the example passage.


Expert Tips to Write Content with Absolute Clarity!


Now that you know methods to fix sentence fragments, you must read some tips that would help you write clear and concise content. 


  • First, know what you want to say. Before writing, you should know your subject, point, and outline.

  • You have to find who your readers are. The tone and style of your writing should be according to the level of your readers.

  • It is best that you use simple vocabulary. In case you are using unfamiliar words, you should define/explain them.

  • Always follow a formal sentence outline. A sentence outline would help you cover all important points in the topic. 

  • Write short passages. Today readers are more intrigued by one, two, and three-sentence paragraphs instead of reading big ones.

  • Keep your sentences short and crispy. A sentence should not have more than five to eight words.

  • Don’t use lengthy words, as they are hard to read and are not understandable by a basic reader.

  • Try to take help from online writing tools for proofreading and quality improvement.


Conclusion 

Clarity is very important in content writing. Content clarity is hugely compromised because of sentence fragments.

If you want your writing material to be compelling and understandable, then you have to identify and fix any sentence fragments found in your drafts.


Today you can use online proofreading tools to identify sentence fragments and can fix them with the help of a well-reputed sentence rephraser tool.

Using online tools would help you optimize content clarity within minutes and with 100% accuracy.