When Nelly Caught Ginny: Phrases, Clauses, and Complete Sentences
Which of these sentences sounds complete to you?
A. Through the drawer of vibrators.
B. Ginny loved it.
C. Playing with other people’s toys.
D. Nelly didn’t mind.
Examples B & D are complete sentences. Examples A and C are fragment sentences. Do you know how to tell the difference?
A complete sentence needs two basic parts of speech: a noun (the subject) and a verb.
That’s why on its own, example A is just a fragment sentence. The drawer and the vibrators give you some nouns to work with, but you’ve got no verb–just a phrase. A phrase does not have both subject and verb. On it’s own, a phrase is just a fragment sentence. Below, it is a phrase in a complete sentence.
Ginny pawed through the drawer of vibrators.
As part of the complete sentence below, example C is a phrase too.
Ginny loved playing with other people’s toys.
Unlike phrases, clauses do have both a subject and a verb.
E. When Nelly caught Ginny.
F. Ginny looked so hot.
But just because a clause has both a subject and a verb doesn’t mean it can stand on its own as a complete sentence. Which of the clauses above do you think is a fragment sentence, and which is a complete sentence?
Example E doesn’t quite make sense on its own. We’re waiting to hear what happened when Nelly caught Ginny. The thought is incomplete, a sentence fragment. But as part of the complete sentence below, we call it a dependent clause.
When Nelly caught Ginny, she didn’t mind.
Example F stands on its own. It’s got a subject, Ginny, and a verb, looked, and the thought’s completed. It’s an independent clause, and it can be a complete sentence on its own.
Still, it’s okay to combine independent clauses with other clauses and phrases to make more interesting and complicated complete sentences.
Ginny looked so hot jerking off.
Ginny looked so hot with Nelly’s vibrator.
Ginny looked so hot that Nelly didn’t mind her playing with other people’s toys.
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