Writing In Complete–or Incomplete Sentences? To be sure any one sentence you write is correct and complete, ask yourself, “Is it understandable out of context?” (In other words, if you stated only the sentence out loud to someone, would it make sense? If it does, then it’s probably complete.) Use complete sentences in your writing. They’re easy to read, and will be clear for your audience.
A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence, usually lacking either a subject or a verb. Writing in complete
Fragment: The ringing telephone.
Complete: The ringing telephone startled the customer.
Fragment: Driving all night.
Complete: Loretta stayed up, driving all night.
Complete sentences express complete thoughts.
The policies on the desk… (incomplete)
The policies are on the desk. (complete)
Because of increased sales. (incomplete)
Because of increased sales, we will hire more salespeople. (complete)
A run-on sentence contains two or more independent thoughts not separated by any punctuation. To correct a run-on sentence, simply take each complete thought, and end each with a period.
Run-on (incorrect): The parts should be the same we can always have John check the serial numbers.
(Two ideas, and no punctuation to separate them – easily fixable by adding a period after “same” and starting “we” with a capital letter.)
RUN-ON: Edwin went home no one told the team leader that he was leaving.
Edwin went home. No one told the team leader that he was leaving.
Edwin went home; no one told the team leader that he was leaving.
Edwin went home, and no one told the team leader that he was leaving.
Edwin went home, although no one told the team leader that he was leaving.
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