GENERAL EDUCATION

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Writing Complete, Grammatically Correct Sentences
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Sentence Fragments Run-on Sentences Subject-Verb Agreement Parallel Structure

There are four main problems that prevent people from writing complete, grammatically correct sentences. These problems include: (a) the sentence fragment; (b) the run-on sentence; (c) lack of subject-verb and pronounreference agreement; and (d) la ck of parallel structure.

Sentence Fragments
A fragment is a sentence which is not complete, and therefore not grammatically correct. Sentence fragments are problematic because they are disjointed and confusing to the reader. There are three main causes of fragments: (a) a missing subject; (b) a missing verb; (c) "danger" words which are not finished. There are three ways to check for sentence completeness: 1. Find the subject. A subject is the noun or pronoun about which something is written. To find the subject of a sentence, identify who or what is doing the action. If there is no subject, the sentence is a fragment. Consider the two examples below. "The student felt nervous before the speech." "Thought about leaving the room." The first sentence above is complete, because it contains both a subject and a verb. The subject of this sentence is the student. The sentence contains a subject which answers the question, "who or what felt nervous?" The second sentence is a fragment, because there is no identifiable subject. The sentence does not contain a subject which answers the question, "who or what thought about leaving?" To correct the second sentence, one could write: "He thought

. I will buy you a present.." "When the rain falls.. could not tolerate more than one bar of soap in his home. Find the verb. . but leave it "hanging" without a finish." "when" and "because. the sentence contains both a subject (scientists) and a verb (think).. but the rest of the sentence does not express wh at action he is taking. existence or occurrence. on e could combine the two sentences to form one complete sentence: "The student felt nervous before the speech." When these words are used at the beginning of a phrase. A danger word is one which introduces a thought that requires a follow-up phrase.then what? Correct: If you come home on time.what happens? Correct: When it rains.about leaving the room. there are two complete sentences.... Einstein. one could write the following: "Many scientists think in strange ways." 3. for example" is a fragment because there is no verb. "If you come home. Alternatively. Verbs express action. for example. for example. In this case. "Many scientists. If there is no identifiable action.. the sentence is a fragment. Check for "danger" words. and thought about leaving the room. In the second sentence. Example: If you come home on time. the subject is Einstein and the verb is "could not tolerate. Consider the phrases below.." Alternatively. Consider the two examples below. the gutters become clogged." This first example above has one complete sentence followed by a fragment.. they require a follow-up phrase to conclude the thought." In this case." "Many scientists think in strange ways. identify what happened. Example: When it rains." 2. "Einstein" serves as the subject (he is the one doing something). A verb is the action word in a sentence. such as Einstein. Einstein. Such words are sometimes called "cliffhangers" because they begin a statement." The danger words in the sentences above are "if. "Einstein. The second example is a complete sentence. To find the verb in a sentence. think in strange ways." "Because he is mean.

when. whether. but one must be sure to include a concluding phrase when these words are used. once.. he plays the guitar for a living. thus creating two separate sentences. The girl walked home.Example: Because he is mean. if. He could only guess at the number of guests who attended the party.what is the result? Correct: Because he is mean. <="" h3=""> Incorrect Examples . how. where. the entire yard was filled with people. although. until. she decided not to ride the bus. as if. Run-on Sentences A run-on sentence is one which actually contains two (or more) complete sentences without the proper punctuation to create separate sentences. To correct these run-on's.. so that. <="" h3=""> Incorrect Examples . because. the two sentences are incorrectly joined by a comma.Lack of Punctuation . since. as shown below. unless. The girl walked home. Danger words are helpful when writing sentences. She decided not to ride the bus. before. Correct Examples John is a musician. (2) a lack of punctuation where a semi-colon or period is needed. In each of the examples above. thus "splicing" two complete sentences together into one run-on sentence. He plays the guitar for a living. while. There are two common forms of the run-on: (1) the "comma splice" in which a comma is inserted between two comp lete sentences where a period should actually be used. Commonly used danger words include: after. The entire yard was filled with people.The Comma Splice John is a musician. I will not take a class from him. the comma should be replaced by a period. He could only guess at the number of guests who attended the party.

" which is singular. however. There is a problem with the television. then check to see if they are both plural or singular. the subject and verb must agree with one another in their tense. If the subject is in plural form.Subject-Verb Agreement "The group of students are complaining about grades. That is the problem when people have conflict. In each of the examples above." which is plural. ." The main subject in this sentence is "recipe. the verb should also be in plur al form (and vice versa). the subject and verb must both be singular or plural. That is the problem when people have conflict. In other words. To ensure subject-verb agreement. no one is available to fix it." which is plural. "A recipe with more than six ingredients are too complicated. The policeman said there was a fight.There is a problem with the television however no one is available to fix it. some type of punctuation is needed to separate the two parts of the sentence: either a semi-colon or a period. They attack each other personally. Correct Examples There is a problem with the television. That is the problem when people have conflict they attack each other personally. The main verb is "are. Consider the examples below." which is singular. Subject-Verb Agreement In order for a sentence to be grammatically correct." The main subject in this sentence is "group. The main verb is "are complaining. Nobody knows what really happened. the policeman said there was a fight. no one is available to fix it. However. Nobody knows what really happened the policeman said there was a fight. Nobody knows what really happened. they attack each other personally. identify the main subject and verb in the sentence. Incorrect examples .

Correct examples "A manager should always be honest with his (or her) employees." is singular. the pronoun "somebody" is singular." which is plural. Incorrect examples . The corresponding pronoun." The subject in this sentence. In the case of pronoun-reference agreement. The corresponding pronoun." which is singular." In this sentence. "If you really care about somebody." "A recipe with more than six ingredients is too complicated. "manager. The main verb is "is wearing." A variation of the subject-verb agreement is pronoun-reference agreement." "If you really care about somebody. "Organizations must be careful about discriminating against its employees." "The people are wearing formal attire." is singular. "their. "The people is wearing formal attire."The facts in that complex case is questionable.Pronoun-Reference Agreement "A manager should always be honest with their employees. "them" and "their" are plural." The main subject in this sentence is "people. but the corresponding pronouns. The main verb." which is plural. all of the pronouns should agree with one another in singular or plural tense." The main subject in this sentence is "facts. Consider the examples below. "is." is plural. let him (or her) make his (or her) own choices. "its." which is plural." "Organizations must be careful about discriminating against their employees." is singular." Parallel Structure ." "The facts in that complex case are questionable." The subject in this sentence is "organizations. Correct examples "The group of students is complaining about grades. let them make their own choices.

" Notice that the first two phrases in this sentence are consistent with one another: "intercepted the football" and "evaded the tacklers. John intercepted the football.The parallel structure of a sentence refers to the extent to which different parts of the sentence match each other in form. When more than one phrase or description is used in a sentence." However." Notice that "a smart strategist" and "an effective manager" are consistent with one another. John intercepted the football. Incorrect examples . evaded the tacklers." Example Two: "The new coach is a smart strategist. evaded the tacklers. and works hard." Notice that "strong" and "a tough competitor" are not the in the same form. Parallel structure is important because it enhances the ease with which the reader can follow the writer's idea. and a hard worker." ." Example Three: "In the last minute of the game. Consider the following examples. those phrases or descriptions should be consistent with one an other in their form and wording. the final phrase." Example Three: "In the last minute of the game. an effective manager. and a touchdown was scored. an effective manager. Example Two: "The new coach is a smart strategist. "and a touchdown was scored" is not consistent with the first two phrases. but not consistent with "works hard. "Strong" and "competitive" are consistent in form.Parallel Structure Example One: "He is strong and a tough competitor. Correct examples Example One: "He is strong and competitive. and scored a touchdown.

If one of the words each. There is a problem with the balance sheet. they typically require a plural verb form. and not only/but also the verb is singular. The colors of the rainbow are beautiful.Every man and woman is required to check in. The dogs growl when they are angry. Subjects and verbs must agree in number.Here are the papers you requested.” the subject will always be placed after the verb. 8. or no comes before the subject. Prepositional phrases between the subject and verb usually do not affect agreement. 7. the verb is singular. This is the cornerstone rule that forms the background of the concept. Jessica or Christian is to blame for the accident. If the subjects are both singular and are connected by the words or. If two subjects are joined by and. The verb is singular if the two subjects separated by and refer to the same person or thing. Make sure you accurately identify the subject before deciding on the proper verb form to use. who is chewing on my jeans. When sentences start with “there” or “here. 6. 4. . they do not affect agreement. every. 3. nor. The cow and the pig are jumping over the moon. 5. 9. The dog. is usually very good. Does Lefty usually eat grass? Where are the pieces of this puzzle. either/or. The dog growls when he is angry. 2. No smoking or drinking is allowed. neither/nor. Subjects don't always come before verbs in questions. so care needs to be taken to identify it correctly. Red beans and rice is my mom's favorite dish. Don’t get confused by the words that come between the subject and verb.The 20 Rules of Subject Verb Agreement in Standard English 1.

neither/nor. neither/nor. some) that always take the plural form. and not only/but also. 16. etc. Either the bears or the lion has escaped from the zoo. all. nor. Indefinite pronouns typically take singular verbs. but when they are linked by and they take the plural form. 15. 14. When gerunds are used as the subject of a sentence they take the singular verb form of the verb. either/or. Neither the lion nor the bears have escaped from the zoo. are followed by a prepositional phrase. Standing in the water was a bad idea. 18. either/or. more. the verb is plural. both. senate. The herd is stampeding. . none. The only time when the object of the preposition factors into the decision of plural or singular verb forms is when noun and pronoun subjects like some. In these sentences. usually take a singular verb form. Collective nouns like herd. If one subject is singular and one plural and the words are connected by the words or. The singular verb form is usually used for units of measurement.10. To walk and to chew gum require great skill. the object of the preposition determines the form of the verb. crowd. you use the verb form of the subject that is nearest the verb. * Except for the pronouns (few. several.All of the chickens are gone. many. If two infinitives are separated by and they take the plural form of the verb. nor. 13. If the subjects are both plural and are connected by the words or. Everybody wants to be loved. half. Few were left alive after the flood. Four quarts of oil was required to get the car running. 11. 17. class.Swimming in the ocean and playing drums are my hobbies. Dogs and cats are both available at the pound. and not only/but also. 12. All of the chicken is gone. all. etc.

novels. are treated as singular and take a singular verb. only the subject affects the verb! . movies. Final Rule – Remember. etc. 20. The Burbs is a movie starring Tom Hanks. Titles of books.19.

Ang pinaghugasan ng pinggan ay ipinandidilig ko ng halaman. . Ako ay isang matalinong bata. Simuno: ang basurahan Panaguri: ginagamit nang maayos II. Simuno: pinaghugasan ng pinggan Panaguri: ay ipinandidilig ko ng halaman b. Nandito ako. lunan o pangayayari. Ang Simuno (subject) ay ang paksa o ang pinag-usapan sa pangungusap. Nakalimutan mo ang iyong aklat sa bahay. Hal. 2. Pautos . Hal. Ito ay ang Karaniwang Ayos at ang Di-karaniwang Ayos.). Ginagamit ko ang basurahan nang maayos. 2. Paturol o Pasalaysay . Nagtatapos ito sa tuldok (. Hal.ang pangungusap kung naglalahad ito ng isang katotohanang bagay.ang Simuno at Panaguri 1. Introduksyon: Ang Pangungusap ay lipon ng mga salita na nagsaad ng buong diwa. Ayos ng Pangungusap May dalawang kaayosan ang pangungusap. sina kung tao ang simuno at ang o ang mga kung bagay.). Halimbawa: a. Ang Panaguri (predicate) naman ang nagsasabi tungkol sa simuno. May mga panandang si. (panaguri) (simuno) Ang Di-karaniwang Ayos ng pangungusap ay kung nauuna ang paksa at ginagamitan ng panandang "ay".ang pangungusap kung nag-uutos at nagtatapos din ito sa tuldok (. Ang Karaniwang Ayos ng pangungusap ay nauuna ang panaguri kaysa sa simuno/paksa.FILIPINO Pangungusap (Sentence) I. Mga Uri ng Pangungusap May apat na uri ang pangungusap ayon sa gamit: 1. (simuno) (panaguri) III. Bawat pangungusap ay may dalawang bahagi -.

Payak na pangungusap . Ang tuwirang layon ay tumatanggap ng kilos pandiwa at may panandang ng.kung ang isang ideya lamang ang ipinahahayag. 2. May simuno at panaguri ito na maaring higit sa isa. V. Ang di-tuwirang layon ng pandiwa ay pinaglalaanan o pinagtutunguhan ng kilos.ang pangungusap kung nagsasaad ng matinding damdamin. Sumasagot ito sa tanong ng kanino. Hal. Sumayaw siya ng Tango. may sunog! IV.kung dalawang diwa o ideya ang ipinahahayag na maaring magkatulad. 2. Sino ako? 4. Nagtatapos ito sa tandang pananong (?).Hal. Pakikuha po ng sapatos ko sa may mesa. Masarap at masustansya ang mga gulay. Padamdam .ang pangungusap kung nagtatanong. Hal. Tambalang pangungusap . Patanong . Binigyan ko siya ng bulakla . Layon ng Pangungusap Tatlo ang layon na maaring gamitin sa pangungusap. 1. Naglalaba si Juan habang nagluluto ang kanyang asawa. Dalawang payak na pangungusap ang pinagsama at pinag-uugnay ng at. o ngunit. Hal. Payak at Tambalang Pangungusap 1. Hal. Aba. magkasalungat o pagpipilian. Sumasagot ito sa tanong na ano. 3. Hal. Nagtatapos ito sa tandang padamdam (!). Hal.

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