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To be a sentence a word group must consist of one full independent clause. What is an independent clase?
An independent clause has a subject and a verb, and it either stands alone or could stand alone.
To repair fragments, you would use one of these two methods of revision.
- -Attach the fragment to a nearby sentence.
- -Turn the fragment into a sentence.
Subordinate clauseis patterned like a sentence, with both a subject and a verb, but begins with a word that marks it as subordinate. The following words commonly introduce subodinate clauses.
after, although, as, as if, because, before, even though, how, if, in order that, rather than, since, so that, than, that, though, unless, until, when, where, whether, which, while, who, whom, whose, why
Subordinate clauses function within sentences as adjectives, as adverbs, or as nouns. They cannot stand alone. Most fragmented sentences beg to be pulled into a sentence.
- Ex. Americans have to come to fear the West Nile virus because it is transmitted by the common mosquito.
- -Incorrect: Americans have to come to fear the West Nile virus. Because it is transmitted by the common mosquito.
A compound predicate includes two or more predicates joined by a coordinating conjunction such as and, but, or or. Because the parts of a compound predicate have the same subject, they should appear in the same sentence.
- Ex. The woodpecker finch of the Galapagos Islands carefully selects a twig of a certain size and shape and then uses this tool to pry out gurbs from trees.
- -Notice that no comma appears between the parts of a compound predicate.
Run on sentences are independent clauses that have not been joined correctly. An independent clause is a word group than can stand alone as a sentence. When tow independent clauses appear in one sentence, they must be joined in one of these ways:
- -with a comma and a coordinating conjuction (and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet)
- -with a semicolon (or occasionally with a colon or a dash)
There are seven coordinating conjunctions, they are:
and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet
A comma splice is two or more independent clauses joined with a comma but without a coordinating conjunction. In some comma splices, the comma appears alone.
Ex. Air pollution poses risk to all humans, it can be deadly for asthma sufferers.
Ex 2. Air pollution poses risks to all humans, however, it can be deadly for asthma sufferers.
To revise a run-on sentence, there are four choices:
- -Use a comma and coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet)
- -Use a semicolon. A semicolon can be used alone; it can also be accompanied by a transitional expression.
- -Make the clauses into sentence.
- -Restructure the sentence, perhaps by subordinating one of the clauses.
Consider seperating the clauses with a comma and a coordinating conjunction. (and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet)
Ex. The paramedic asked where I was hurt, and as soon as I tolk him, he cut up the leg of my favorite pair of jeans.
Consider seperating the clauses with a semicolon. When the independent clauses are closely related and their relation is clear w/o a coordinating conjunction, a semicolon is an acceptable method of revision.
Ex. Tragedy depicts the individual confronted witht he fact of death; comedy depicts the adaptability of human society. (incorrect:...death, comedy...)
A semicolon is required between independent clauses that have been linked with a transitional expression (such as however, therefore, moreover, in fact, or for example)
- Ex. Handheld PDAs are gaining in popularity; however, they are not nearly as popular as cell phones.
- (incorrect: ...popularity, however,...)
If the first independent clause introduces the second or if the second clause summarizes or explains the first, a colon or a dash may be an appropriate method of revision.
Ex. Nuclear waste is hazardous: This is an indisputable fact.
(incorrect....is hazardous this is....)
If the first idependent clause introduces a quoted sentence, a colon is an appropriate method of revision.
Ex. Feminist writer and scholar Carolyn Helibrun has this to say about the future: "Today's shocks are tomorrow's conventions."
(incorrect: ...the future, "Today's shocks...)
Consider making the clause into seperate sentences.
- Ex. Why should we spend money on expensive space exploration? We have enough underfunded programs here on earth.
- (incorrect...exploration, we have...)
- ----since one independent clause is a question and the other is a statement, they should be seperate sentences.
Consider restructuring the sentence, perhaps by subordinating one of the clauses. If one independent clause is less important than the other, turn it into a subordinate clause or phrase.
- Ex. One of the most famous advertising slogans is Wheaties cereal's "Breakfast of Champions." which was penned in 1933.
- (incorrect....Champions," it was...)