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1.2: Fragments and Run-Ons

This resource was written by Jaclyn M. Wells.
Last edited by Joshua M. Paiz on March 22, 2013 .

Summary:

Part 1, Lesson 2 explains sentence structure. This resource deals with fragment sentences and run-ons.

Lesson 2: Sentence Structure

This lesson addresses sentence structure. Questions about sentence structure make up 30 percent of the questions in Part I of the GED Language Arts, Writing test. Reviewing these skills will also help you prepare for the GED Essay, and it will improve your language skills in general. Topics included in this resource are the following: fragment sentences, run-on sentences, comma splices, parallel structure, modifiers, and coordination and subordination.

Fragment sentences

A complete sentence will have at least one subject and one verb. Sentences are considered fragments when they are missing either a subject or a verb. Consider the following two fragment sentences and their corrected versions:

In addition to containing a subject and verb, a complete sentence will express a complete thought. Consider the following two sentences and their revised versions.

Run-on sentences (Run-ons)

A run-on sentence occurs when two or more independent clauses are combined without correct punctuation. An independent clause is a complete, simple sentence, meaning that it contains a subject, a verb, and a complete thought. There are a few ways to correct run-on sentences. Consider the following run-on sentence and the following options for revising it.

Run-On: The grocery store was really packed with people there must have been a big sale today.

Here, the error has been corrected by simply breaking the run-on sentence into two sentences.

In this case, the sentence has been corrected by adding a coordinating conjunction and a comma. This is a compound sentence.

In this example, the sentence has been corrected by adding a subordinating conjunction and a comma. This is a complex sentence.

See the “Coordination and Subordination” section later in Lesson 2 for more information on coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.

Fragment sentence exercises

Some of the sentences below are fragments. Play editor on the sentences. Could you tell these writers why the fragments are incomplete sentences? Also, how would you tell the writers to fix them?

Click here for exercise answers.

Run-on sentence exercises

Some of the sentences below are run-ons. Play editor on the sentences. Could you tell these writers why the run-ons are incorrect? Also, how would you tell the writers to fix them?

Click here for exercise answers.

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