A sentence can be a word (Stop!) or a group of words that must contain a
subject (doer), a verb (action), and a complete thought.
➲ In the sentence, ‘‘Lorina washed her face,’’ the subject is Lorina, the verb
is washed, and the group of words makes a complete thought.
A fragment is a group of words that might lack a subject or a verb and does
notmake a complete thought.
➲ ‘‘During the trial’’ is a fragment since there is no subject, verb, or
➲‘‘Vicki running next to her sister’’ is another fragment because, though
it has a subject, (Vicki), and possibly a verb (running), the group of words
does not make a complete thought. Thus, it is not a sentence.
➲ The group of words ‘‘After these stray dogs were placed in the pound’’ is
also a fragment. It has a subject (dogs) and a verb (were placed), but there
is no complete thought.
A run-on sentence is two (or more) sentences incorrectly written as a single
➲ ‘‘The sofa is comfortable, the chair is too’’ is an example of a run-on
sentence because two complete sentences are incorrectly joined (or
spliced) by a comma.
➲ Sometimes run-on sentences have no punctuation at all! An example
of this is, ‘‘Princeton University is a fine place of higher learning it is
located in New Jersey.’’ Here, there are really two sentences that have
been mistakenly joined or spliced into one.