Sentence errors are identified as follow:
 
sentence fragment
run-ons / fused sentence / comma splicing

 

Sentence fragment

A type of sentence error known as sentence fragment is a group of words that used together does not form a complete sentence; it is just a part of a sentence that doesn’t express a complete idea. It occurs when an incomplete sentence is presented as a complete sentence, such as letting a phrase or a dependent clause (subordinate clause) to stand on its own as though it is a complete sentence.

 

A phrase is a group of two, three or more words that does not contain a subject or verb and it becomes a sentence fragment when it is allowed to stand alone. The same happens to a dependent clause although it has a subject and verb. It must be connected to an independent clause to form a complete sentence.

 

A phrase is a sentence fragment if it stands on its own. To turn them into complete sentences, add subjects and verbs.

 

 

 

Examples:

  • Noun phrase: The dotted line. (Fragment)
  • Complete sentence: She signed on the dotted line. 
  • Prepositional phrase: Into a briefcase. (Fragment)
  • Complete sentence: He stuffed a few documents into a briefcase. 

  

 

The following examples show subordinate clauses (dependent clauses) being used as though they are complete sentences. A subordinate clause always begins with a subordinating conjunction (because, when, etc.). When a subordinating conjunction is dropped from a subordinate clause, the clause becomes a complete sentence. These examples show the subordinate clauses joined to main clauses to form complete sentences.

 

 

  

Examples:

  • Subordinate clause: When we have no money. (Fragment)
  • Complete sentence: We can’t buy a yacht when we have no money.
  • Complete sentence: We have no money. (Conjunction when is dropped.) 
  • Subordinate clause: Because she was the best candidate. (Fragment)
  • Complete sentence: She got the job because she was the best candidate.
  • Complete sentence: She was the best candidate. (Conjunction because is dropped.) 
  • Subordinate clause: Since ten o’clock this morning. (Fragment)
  • Complete sentence: I’ve been here since ten o’clock this morning.

 

 

Run-on sentence, comma splice, fused sentence

A run-on sentence is one that contains two independent clauses that are not properly connected by punctuation or appropriate conjunction. It is also called fused sentence.

A comma splice results when two independent clauses are improperly joined with a comma.

A fused sentence is also called a run-on sentence. It is a sentence of two or more main clauses that are not properly joined by a punctuation mark such as a semicolon or a conjunction.

 

 

Correction of comma splice sentences

There four ways the following splice sentences are corrected. 

 

Splice sentences

Julia began her prison sentence, she refused to wear prison clothes.

The emperor wants this magic golden sword badly, you must deliver it to the emperor himself.

I don't want to fly kite like you do, I won't.

 

 

Examples:

1.       Separate the clauses into individual clauses

  • Julia began her prison sentence.  She refused to wear prison clothes.
  • The emperor wants this magic golden sword badly. You must deliver it to the emperor himself. 
  • I don't want to fly kite like you do. I won't.

     

2.       Use a comma and coordinating conjunction between clauses to form a compound sentence.

  • Julia began her prison sentence, but she refused to wear prison clothes.
  • The emperor wants this magic golden sword badly, and you must deliver it to the emperor himself. 
  • I don't want to fly kite like you do, so I won't.

     

3.       Use a semicolon between the clauses.

  • Julia began her prison sentence; she refused to wear prison clothes. 
  • The emperor wants this magic golden sword badly; you must deliver it to the emperor himself.
  • I don't want to fly kite like you do; I won't. 

 

4.       Make one clause a subordinate clause to the other to form a complex sentence.

  • When Julia began her prison sentence, she refused to wear prison clothes. 
  • As the emperor wants this magic golden sword badly; you must deliver it to the emperor himself. 
  • Because I don't want to fly kite like you do, I won't.

     

 

 

Correction of fused sentences

Fused sentences are corrected in the same ways as those for comma splice sentences.

 

Fused sentence: This is most important you must lend me fifty dollars.

 

Examples:

  • 1.       Separate the clauses into individual clauses 

    This is most important. You must lend me fifty dollars.

     

  • 2.   Use a comma and coordinating conjunction between clauses to form a compound sentence. 

    This is most important, so you must lend me fifty dollars.

     

  • 3.       Use a colon between the clauses. 

    This is most important: you must lend me fifty dollars.

     

  • 4.   Make one clause a subordinate clause to the other to form a complex sentence. 

    Since this is most important, you must lend me fifty dollars.