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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. (Sentence fragment)
  • Complete sentence: We have no money. (Conjunction when is dropped.) 
  • Complete sentence: We can’t buy a yacht when we have no money. (Add an independent clause to the sentence fragment to produce a complete sentence.) 
  • Subordinate clause: Because she was the best candidate. (Sentence fragment)
  • Complete sentence: She was the best candidate. (Conjunction because is dropped.) 
  • Complete sentence: She got the job because she was the best candidate.  
  • 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.

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.

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

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.  
  

Examples: 

Splice sentences: separating two independent clauses with a comma

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

  • The emperor wants the magic golden sword, you must deliver it to the emperor yourself.

  • Let’s not go into that cave, I heard it’s full of ghosts.

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

 

 

  

Examples:

1.       Separate the clauses into individual sentences by replacing the commas with full-stops.

  • Julia began her prison sentence.  She refused to wear prison clothes..
  • The emperor wants the magic golden sword. You must deliver it to the emperor yourself. 
  • Let’s not go into that cave. I heard it’s full of ghosts. 
  • 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 the magic golden sword, and you must deliver it to the emperor yourself. 
  • Let’s not go into that cave, for I heard it’s full of ghosts. 
  • 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 the magic golden sword; you must deliver it to the emperor yourself.
  • Let’s not go into that cave; I heard it’s full of ghosts..
  • 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 the magic golden sword, you must deliver it to the emperor yourself. 
  • Let’s not go into that cave because I heard it’s full of ghosts. 
  • Since 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.

 

Examples:

Fused sentence: Grandfather is almost 80 years old he is losing his hair.

1.    Separate the clauses into individual clauses. 

Grandfather is almost 80 years old. He is losing his hair. 

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

Grandfather is almost 80 years old, and he is losing his hair. 

3.    Use a semicolon between the clauses.  

Grandfather is almost 80 years old; he is losing his hair. 

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

Since grandfather is almost 80 years old, he is losing his hair.