Checking Your Work to Correct Fragments

If you think a group of words might not be a sentence, test it:

1. Check to see if there is a subject. If there is no subject, it is a fragment.

2. Next, check to see if the group of words has a verb that is not a verbal phrase (ing or ed participle forms or infinitive forms made from the word plus the base form of the verb as in to wait). If there is no verb, it is a fragment.

3. Finally, check to see if the group of words starts with any of the other constructions in the above examples and in the following examples: a subordinate conjunction, a preposition, a relative pronoun, an introductory word for lists or examples, or an appositive. If the group of words begins with any of these words or structures and is not connected to an independent clause, it is a fragment.

Incorrect: Who waited for the bus.

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