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Sentence Fragments | Return to Film Library

Einstein: Hello! My name is Einstein. You may have heard I am a genius. It’s true. That is why today I am going to help you. I heard you had some questions about grammar. Oh, sentence fragments, is it? Those can be tricky. This short slideshow will tell you all you need to know about sentence fragments. Pay attention, and you’ll soon be a genius just like me.

A sentence fragment is called an incomplete sentence. All complete sentences have both a subject and a predicate. The subject is who or what the sentence is about. The predicate describes what the subject is doing. Don’t forget the end mark: a period, question mark, or exclamation point. Subject & Verb + End Mark = Complete Sentence.

Einstein: Quite simply, every complete sentence has a subject and a verb. Take this sentence as an example: The alien is hungry.

Alien: I’m so hungry. Need food. Must invade planet earth to find food.

Einstein: In that sentence (“The alien is hungry”), alien is the subject; is hungry is the predicate. But “need food” and “must invade planet earth to find food” are fragments. They do not have a subject.

Alien: Yummy, yummy food!

Einstein: That is also a fragment because it has no verb.

Alien: So is a fragment always short?

Einstein: No, some sentences are very short like “I dance.” Fragments can be either short or long. Take this one for example. “Although the alien is hungry” is a fragment. It is a dependent clause. These start with what’s called a subordinate conjunction. Words like although, if, because, after, while, since are all subordinate conjunctions.

Alien: Ah, that makes sense. Thank you.

Einstein: No problem. Now you know all you need to know about fragments. Always make sure your sentences have both a subject and a verb. Thanks for watching. Bye for now!