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Top 10 Examples of Sentence Fragments

Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff

April 26, 2012
Filed Under Offbeat 

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A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragmentsContributed by Info Guru Korina Rossi

Sentence fragments are the bête noir of every English teacher and student.

Whether the sentence is missing a noun or a verb, fragments are grammar faux pas and can cost a student points on an essay or standardized test. And even famous writers sometimes let a fragment pass in their own writing.

Here are my top ten examples of sentence fragments:


10. Classic Twain

A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragments



“’Classic.’ A book which people praise and don’t read.”

Mark Twain penned this famous truism and sentence fragment, which is missing a verb to make it complete.

9. Eliot’s memory

A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragments

“Memory … All alone in the moonlight.”

Theater buffs will immediately identify this fragment from the musical inspired by T.S. Eliot, Cats. Children can take part in learning about proper sentence structure from grammar games.

8. Fragmented Shakespeare

A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragments

“Farewell, fair cruelty.”

Even the bard slipped a fragment in some of his greatest plays, including this quote from Twelfth Night. According to some style books, fragments can be usefully employed for dramatic purposes.

7. Subordinate fame

A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragments

“If on a summer’s night a traveler”

This famous title of a novel by Italo Calvino is also a subordinate clause in search of an independent clause.

6. Presidential misquote

A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragments

“Fourscore and seven years ago”

Abraham Lincoln would never have left this phrase hanging as a fragment, but many writers quote the famous opening of the Gettysburg Address as if it were a full sentence.

5. Rogue description

A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragments



“The quicker picker upper”

Don’t be fooled by the words “picker upper,” which usually indicate a verb: this phrase has gone rogue as a sentence fragment, even though it still effectively describes Bounty paper towels.

4. Oh fragmented patriotism

A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragments



“Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain.”

America the Beautiful, one of the most beloved patriotic songs, begins with this fragment. For students who ode every morning, playing reading computer games will clear the clouds.

3. Rosey sentence

A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragments

“A rose by any other name”

Another quote from Shakespeare, this time from Romeo and Juliet, that people often repeat as just a fragment.

2. Noun-less

A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragments



“Nice and Easy does it”

Frank Sinatra fans and karaoke crooners will remember this song with its dubious noun, “nice and easy.”

1. Tangled participle

A list of the top ten examples of sentence fragments



“Gazing down on the jungfrau from our secret chalet for two”

Famed Broadway musical Kiss Me Kate song “Wunderbar,” begins with this participle that leads to no proper sentence, though it throws in a few words only a trusty dictionary can untangle.

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