Eroica’s Erotica, Episode 3: Fragment Sentences

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Fragment Sentences do not have the required grammatical elements: a subject and a predicate. This is a simple enough idea:

Eroica’s interest in erotica totally turned me on.

In this complete sentence, the subject Eroica’s interest in erotica includes the noun interest and its modifiers Eroica’s and in erotica. The subject includes whatever noun creates the central action in the sentence as well as anything modifying that noun.

The predicate, which you may think of as the verb, does include the verb that describes the sentence’s central action. In this sentence, the predicate totally turned me on includes the verb turned on as well as its adverb totally and object me.

This stuff is easy to see in a simple sentence like this one, but it can get confusing.  Notice how long the fragment sentence below is, yet it lacks the vital subject:

Resisting temptation, trying not to masturbate in front of her, and trying to sound cool.

We can guess that the subject in this sentence, the person resisting temptation and such, is the narrator. Here it is, with a subject added:

I resisted temptation, tried not to masturbate in front of her, and tried to sound cool.

And the fragment sentence below may look like a sentence, but it needs a predicate to make it complete:

Her angelic voice and her hands upon the page.

Try this:

Her angelic voice accompanied her hands upon the page.

Or this:

I loved her angelic voice and her hands upon the page.

Or this:

Her angelic voice and her hands upon the page were more than I could bear.

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  1. December 21st, 2010

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