Shorthand: “f”

Every sentence must have a subject and predicate (unless a subject or predicate is clearly understood or implied).

In each of the examples below, the second statement is not a sentence but a sentence fragment.

1. Old Testament stories portray two types of leader. The brainy leader and the one who relies on his physical strength.

Incorrect: the fragment is an appositive* detached from its antecedent and punctuated as a complete sentence.

Correction: join the sentence parts by a comma, a colon, or a dash after the first leader.

2. I surveyed the party. The furniture overturned, empty cans lying on the floor, and a funky smell coming from the bathroom.

Incorrect: participial phrase punctuated as a complete sentence.

Correction: change overturned, lying, and coming from to finite forms of the verbs—i.e., was overturned, were lying, was coming  from.]

3. Hamlet thinks of his father’s ghost frequently. Which almost makes him insane.

Incorrect: subordinate clause punctuated as a complete sentence.

Correction: join the subordinate element to the main element: Hamlet’s frequent thoughts of his father’s ghost almost make him insane.

 See also Punctuation (“p”) in this handbook.

* An appositive is a phrase appearing next to a noun that explains or identifies that noun and is equivalent to it: Dunham, a light-side dorm, is instead rather like a dungeon.

Bryce Fan '20

Find Your Voice

What good is having a great idea if you can’t communicate it effectively? We’ll teach you how to express yourself through writing and speaking, of course, but also through digital communications and artistic expression — all of which will help you stand out no matter what path you choose after graduation.

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

Site Search