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University of Newcastle Library guides

Common feedback comments and what they mean: Fragmented sentences

This guide lists some common feedback comments and explains what they mean.

Fragmented sentences

Fragmented sentences

A sentence fragment is part of a sentence that is punctuated as if it were a complete sentence.

To have a complete sentence you need three things:
1.    The subject of the sentence (who or what is the sentence about)
2.    A verb (an action done by or to the subject)
3.    The sentence must express a complete thought

Let’s look at the following examples:

1.    Fragment: Encouraging fitness and wellbeing.
2.    Problem: There is no subject in this sentence.The sentence does not tell you who or what is encouraging fitness and
3.    Corrected: The advertisement was encouraging fitness and wellbeing.

1.    Fragment: My dog Ali.
2.    Problem: There is no verb in the sentence. The reader does not know what the dog is doing.
3.    Corrected: My dog Ali eats meat.


1.    Fragment: Before I eat breakfast.
2.    Problem: This fragmented sentence does not express a complete thought because it leaves you asking, in this case,
what happens before I eat breakfast?
3.    Corrected: Before I eat breakfast, I go for a walk.