Sentences, Fragments, and Run-Ons

Complete sentences are the foundation of written and spoken English, for they contain a subject and predicate and express a complete thought.  Following are three types of sentences and two common types of mistakes people make when writing.

Simple Sentences:

  • Declarative: It snowed all night.
  • Interrogative: Where did I leave my coat?
  • Imperative: Please close the window.
  • Exclamatory: Look out!

Compound Sentence: contains two sentences joined by a comma and the conjunctions and, but, or, or nor.

Example: Sylvia likes to listen to Jazz, but her sister prefers rock and roll.

Complex Sentence: contains a main clause and one or more subordinate clauses.

Example: Because of the blizzard, all flights to Denver were delayed indefinitely.

Fragment:  is an incomplete thought.  Fragments should always be corrected.

Examples:  A walk in the park.  _  Yesterday I took a walk in the park.

Run-on:  two or more sentences strung together without proper punctuation.  Run-ons can be corrected by writing the two sentences separately or by joining the two sentences with a comma and a word such as and, but, or, or nor.

Example: Chris finished his homework, he started his science project before dinner. (run-on) _ Chris finished him homework, and he started his science project before dinner. (correct)