Writing Complete Sentences and Punctuation Ms. Mathews 9th Grade
A sentence must have at least one subject and one verb and must express a complete thought.
To correct a fragment, add the missing part. If the fragment is in a paragraph, join it with the complete sentence before or after it.
Types of Sentence Fragments • Freestanding subject or verb • Subordinate clauses as fragments • Phrases as fragments • Others
Freestanding subject or verb: some fragments lack a subject or a verb.Fragment: Our planet.Correction: Our planet is called Earth.
Subordinate clauses as fragments: a subordinate clause has a subject and a verb, but it does not express a complete thought.Fragment: Before Galileo lived.Correction: Before Galileo lived, people called Earth the center of the universe.
Phrases as fragments: a phrase is a group of words with neither a subject nor a verb. Fragment: Defying accepted beliefs.Correction: Defying accepted beliefs, Galileo presented a new view.
Others: Watch for parts of a compound predicate or items in a series written as sentences.Fragment: And learned about other objects. Asteroids, meteoroids, and comets.Correction: Astronomers studied the skies and learned about other objects: asteroids, meteoroids, and comets.
A run-on sentence is two or more complete sentences incorrectly written as one sentence.
Run-ons are formed when a writer incorrectly uses only a comma between sentences (called a comma splice) or joins two sentences without any punctuation at all.
You can correct a run-on by separating the two sentences.ExampleRun-on: Outdoor concerts are held every summer they attract all ages.Correction: Outdoor concerts are held every summer. They attract all ages.
It may also be possible to join them correctly in one of the following ways…
Add a comma or conjunction, such as and, but, or, and for.Example: Outdoor concerts are held every summer and they attract all ages.
Add a semicolon.Example: Outdoor concerts are held every summer; they attract all ages.
Add a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb such as however, therefore, and thus.Example: Outdoor concerts are held every summer; moreover, they attract all ages.
The comma was invented to help readers. Without it, sentence parts can collide with one another and be confusing.
Rule #1:Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction that is joining independent clauses.
When a coordinating conjunction connects two or more independent clauses, a comma must come before it.
This ONLY applies to the seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, or, nor, for, so, and yet
Example: Nearly everyone has heard of love at first sight, but I fell in love at first dance.
Rule #2:Use a comma after an introductory word group or mild interjections.
Word groups that introduce a sentence and tell the reader when, where, how, why, or under what conditions are followed by a comma.
Example: When Kate was ready to iron, her cat tripped on the cord and unplugged it.Without the comma, the reader might think that Kate was going to iron her cat.
Example: Near a small stream at the bottom of the canyon, the park ranger discovered an abandoned mine.
Examples: Yes, we do have a quiz today.No, it is not on Romeo and Juliet.Well, I guess I can let you look at my notes.
Sentences also sometimes begin with phrases that describe a noun/pronoun that immediately follows it. The comma tells the reader that they are about to learn the identity of the person/thing described.
Thinking his motorcade drive through Dallas was routine, President Kennedy smiled and waved at the crowd.Buried under layers of younger rocks, the earth’s oldest rocks contain no fossils.
Example: Bubbles of air, leaves, ferns, bits of wood, and insects are often found trapped in amber.
Example: My uncle left me all of his property, houses, and warehouses after he died.
Example: The camp activities include a hike through the forest, numerous arts and crafts projects, endless hours of swimming in the lake, and midnight ghost stories around the campfire.
Rule #4:Use a comma between two or more adjectives of equal rank that modify the same noun.
Example: She spent the warm, sunny afternoon cooped up inside with an interesting, complex novel.
Rule #5:Use a comma to set off words of direct address, such as names, titles, terms of respect, and phrases used to address an individual.
Rule #6:Use a comma to set off one or more words that interrupt the flow of thought in a sentence.
Example: J.K. Rowling’s first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was originally published as a children’s book.
Example: Margaret’s house, which is located out in the country, caught fire over the weekend.
Rule #7:Use a comma to set off the explanatory words of a direct quotation.
Example: “Tell me more,” she said, “about Native American tribes.”