1. chandler245
    Offline

    chandler245 Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    0

    Revise HELP! Fragment of a sentence?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by chandler245, Jun 6, 2009.

    I have a big problem. How do I change a fragmented sentence? Do you add a comma, period, maybe I do not understand what it means per say.:eek:
     
  2. zorell
    Offline

    zorell Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,376
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    growing on a tree with a buckeye
    A fragment of a sentence needs to be reunited with the other clause(s) that allow it to make sense.

    A fragmented sentence is probably missing either its subject or verb, add the missing piece.
     
  3. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    If you're stressing cuz msword is telling you they're wrong, don't panic - fragment sentences aren't inherently wrong (well, in a stricly grammatical sense they technically are) but make sure that they read well and fit your writing and aren't geniune mistakes.
     
  4. TragicJuliet
    Offline

    TragicJuliet Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Arizona, US
    As a general rule- I never really listen to MS, it only knows what it was programmed to know even then sometimes it doesn't know
     
  5. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I always examine what MS flags, but I also know that it has to make assumptions that a human reader would not. Computers cannot understand the semantics of a sentence, and context may even determine what part of speech a particular word is. Th eclassic example is:
    I have underlined the verb and bolded the subject in each sentence.

    Sentence fragments do have a place in writing. Yes, really. (see?)

    Fragments can be used to emphasize or draw attention to a point. You don't want them to dominate the piece, but used carefully they add life to your writing. They break the flow, and that isn't always a bad thing.

    So do take MS Word's recommendations with a grain of salt. As a writer, YOU must be able to determine whether your sentence is grammatically correct. YOU must be able to decide when a grammatically flawed sentence is a good choice anyway.
     
  6. bluebell80
    Offline

    bluebell80 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Vermont
    I use them sparingly and it must fit the context of the paragraph, be it dialog (most frequently used in,) or internal thoughts. I avoid using fragments in narrative summery though, because it ends up just sounding like bad grammar.

    When I do find them where they are not supposed to be, I consider if I want to re-word it so that it is a proper sentence, or if I want to cut it altogether. Sometimes it can be cut, but most times it just has to be re-worded to include both the subject and the verb. Rarely in narrative summery do I leave a fragment sentence.

    Dialog is commonly broken, fragmented, like the way we speak. Have you ever read the transcripts of an interview, even with a well spoken educated public person? Half of it is fragmented, disjointed thoughts and it makes me wonder how on earth we ever understand each other.

    Internal dialog from a character can be the same way, fragmented short sentences. It works in most cases.

    Why don't you post the sentence you are having trouble with, maybe we could give you some suggestions on it.

    :)
     
  7. AngeloBraxton
    Offline

    AngeloBraxton Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah. Definitely. MSWord doesn't know anything. If you try to type up poetry on on it, it freaks out because it doesn't know what's happening and underlines about every single line.
     
  8. ManhattanMss
    Offline

    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    626
    Likes Received:
    14
    Excellent suggestion (along with everything else bluebell80 said). There is no way to answer your question without knowing what the sentence is, as well as the context and the flavor of your writing style. No software program can determine when a sentence fragment is appropriate to the style of the writing. Period (by way of example:)). For my nickel, Word is the worst at making absurd suggestions that are as often more egregiously incorrect than they are even close to accurate. Yes, it can be used to identify fragments; but that's all I would count on it for. I think Cogito said you need to understand what you're trying to accomplish, and he's right. Otherwise, you're at the mercy of little more than electronic word manipulation (which actually has no mercy at all when it comes to fiction).

    I think of Word (and even other automated fixing programs) as software developed to aid uncreative, non-writing writers who don't have the resourcefulness to know as much about grammar and style as writers do and/or should probably learn.
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ditto the advice to show us what it is you think needs fixing... and, fyi, the latin term is 'per se' and a 'fragment' is called just that, not a 'fragmented sentence'... here's an example of a 'fragment' [in bold]:

    The night sounds were calming. Except for the occasional coyote howl.

    here's a very good explanation of 'fragments' and how to deal with them, on a site you would do well to keep in your favorites, for all things grammatical:
    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/620/01/

    a 'fragmented sentence' could be something else entirely, so we can't tell from your post, just what it is you're wrestling with...
     
  10. starseed
    Offline

    starseed Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    2
    I am not sure I understand the question. I use sentence fragments all the time in my writing. I have a very loose style though so I don't know..
     

Share This Page