Monday, August 13, 2007

Grammar: Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them (Part 17: Sentence Fragment)

All sentences have subjects and predicates. The predicate is the action, and the subject is the item doing the action.
On Sundays, Jane plowed through the want ads. Hoping that the next best job was buried in small print.

What’s wrong here? There is no subject in the second sentence. It should read:
On Sundays, Jane plowed through the want ads, hoping that the next best job was buried in small print.

My boss does amusing things. For example, smoking cigars and losing them somewhere in the office.

If you can’t attach a fragment to a sentence, make it a new sentence. Thus the second example becomes “My boss does amusing things. For example, he smokes cigars and loses them somewhere in the office.”

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