Fixing a Fragment with No Subject

The most common type of fragment is a sentence that is missing its subject.  You want to make sure you clean up your fragments to make sure your essay gets as high of a grade as possible.

A fragment without a subject looks like this:

  • “Just wanted to go to the store before the rush.”

That’s a perfectly fine sentence in casual conversation, but in formal writing, you need to indicate who wanted to go to the store.  There are some situations where an implied “you” can be left out, but generally speaking, you need to include the subject.

There are two methods of fixing this sort of fragment:

First, you could simply add a subject.  That makes your fragment an independent clause, and thus, fit for your essay.

Our example sentence could become “I wanted to go to the store before the rush.”  Just by adding “I”, we’ve given our sentence a subject and can move on, with our grammar intact.

The second method ties your fragment into another sentence, by using a word ending in “-ing” to make your fragment something called a “participle phrase”—not a complete sentence, but something you can add to another sentence.  For example, if our essay in question read something like:

  • “I tapped my foot as I waited for my sister to come down the stairs.  Just wanted to go to the store before the rush.”

We can merge the fragment into the previous sentence like so:

  • “I tapped my foot as I waited for my sister to come down the stairs, just wanting to go to the store before the rush.”

Now, instead of one sentence and one fragment, you have one longer sentence.  If you have a lot of fragments, this is a good method to use—it helps prevent your essay from sounding short and choppy with many small sentences.

Why not try Wordsmith Essays’ editing services?  We can help chop out your fragments and merge your clauses.  Stop by our order page and see what we can do for you.

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