Avoiding Sentence Errors: Fragments and Run-Ons

Contributor: Allison Crews. Lesson ID: 13616

Fragments and run-ons are the most common types of incorrect sentences. Learn how to avoid them in this lesson!


Grammar, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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As you have learned.

There are many types of sentences, not all of them are easy to understand, but you have to know all the rules, or you'll make mistakes in your grammar and the sentences will be incorrect, which might get you a bad grade on a paper so you want to try to avoid that if you can by doing this lesson, it'll help.

Because you want to learn.

To get started.

  • Was that very easy to understand?

You may have understood the points vaguely being made, but those sentences are a total mess.

This lesson will help you avoid writing fragments and run-ons.

What might make a sentence incorrect?

There are many reasons that a sentence could be incorrect. In order to write really good sentences, a writer needs to be able to scan a sentence for any issues the sentences might have.

There are many ways that a sentence could turn out to be incorrectly written, but here are the most prevalent issues one should check for.

Reminder: What are run-on sentences and comma splices?

Run-on sentences and comma splices most often happen when a writer has two independent clauses linked by only a comma.

Example of a run-on sentence:

  • I am hungry, I have to go to the store.

The incorrect sentence above is made of two complete clauses:

  1. I am hungry.
  2. I have to go to the store.
  • Can you think of a way to combine these clauses appropriately?

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Comma splices and run-ons can usually be fixed by separating the independent clauses into distinct sentences, or by using the appropriate conjunctions to combine the sentences effectively.

In the example above, a comma and the coordinating conjunction so were added to make the sentences one single compound sentence.

Reminder: What is a fragment?

A fragment is a group of words that do not form a sentence.

A sentence is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.

This means that a fragment is a group of words that does not meet these requirements.

Example of a complete sentence:

  • Jenna was going to the beach with her friends.

The sentence has a subject (Jenna), a verb (was going), and conveys a complete thought about the subject traveling to the beach.

Example of a fragment:

  • Was going to the beach with her friends.

This fragment is missing the subject. The reader is never told whom or what is going to the beach.

  • Is that all there is to it?

Yes, all one needs to know about constructing a sentence is that there needs to be a subject and verb, and it must convey a complete thought.

  • Feeling good about this information?

Click on through to the Got It? section to work with more examples and practice effectively correcting sentence errors.

got it

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