Difference Between Fragment and Sentence

Main Difference –  Fragment vs  Sentence

Fragments, also known as sentence fragments are usually considered to be errors in written language. This is because they do not contain a complete thought. A group of words that do not convey a complete thought cannot be considered as a sentence and neither can they stand alone. Thus, sentence fragments should always be corrected in writing so that they carry complete thought and resemble complete sentences. The main difference between fragment and sentence is that sentence carries a complete thought whereas fragment does not.

This article explains, 

1. What is a Sentence? – Structure, Components and Features

2. What is a Fragment? – Structure, Components and Features

3. Difference Between Sentence and FragmentDifference Between Fragment and Sentence - Fragment vs Sentence Comparison Summary

What is a Sentence

A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought. It contains a subject and a predicate. A sentence can be as short as two words, but it can also be as long as a whole paragraph as well. A sentence can be categorized into several types depending on their structure.

Simple Sentence: A sentence that contains a single independent clause


He ate rice.

The boy ran fast.

Heather did not go to school on Wednesday.

Complex Sentence:  A sentence that contains one independent clause and at least one dependent clause.


He couldn’t go to school because of the bad weather.

She has been happy since you arrived.

Although he told the truth, no one believed him.

Compound Sentence: A sentence that contains two or more independent clauses


The train was late, so I took the bus.

He smiled at them, but they looked away.

My brother sang a song, and I played the piano.

Compound-Complex Sentence: A sentence that contains at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.


I enjoyed the historical film, but my friend, who likes action films, didn’t like the film.

Even though he likes to play football, he started to learn cricket; however, he wasn’t very good at cricket.

A sentence always begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, a question mark or an exclamation mark.

Main Difference - Fragment vs Sentence

Sentence: The puzzle is complete.

What is a Fragment

A fragment or a sentence fragment is a group of words which is used as a sentence, but it does not express a complete thought. Although we frequently use fragments in spoken language, they are frowned upon in written language. In written language, fragments are considered to be an error.

Because Nadine was a fair reporter.

And talked with the poor people to help them.

The girl sitting on the floor, wearing a neon blue t-shirt.

After he talked to me.

Why are the above examples considered fragments, and not complete sentences? Well, at the beginning of this article, we talked about essential factors in a complete sentence. – They are subject, predicate, and complete thought.  The above sentences lack one or several of these elements. This is why they are considered to be sentence fragments.

If you are not sure whether your sentence is a sentence fragment or a complete sentence, check the following:

  1. Is there a subject?
  2. Is there a predicate?
  3. Is there an independent clause?

If the answer to all three questions is yes, you have a complete sentence. If not, you have a sentence fragment.

You can fix a sentence fragment by adding the missing element or attaching the fragment to a sentence nearby.

Difference Between Fragment and Sentence

Fragment: The puzzle not complete.

Difference Between Fragment and Sentence

Thought Conveyed

Fragment does not convey a complete thought.

Sentence conveys a complete thought.



Fragment may not contain a subject.

Sentence always contains a subject.


Fragment may not contain a verb.

Sentence always contains a verb.

Independent Clause

Fragment may not contain an independent clause.

Sentence always contains at least one independent clause.

Image Courtesy:

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

Related pages

define cathode and anodedestructive sound wavesrefrain poetrysigns of leukopeniaa comedy of mannerswhat is the difference between assonance and alliterationdifference between absorb and adsorbwhat is the difference between fungi and bacteriawhat is hypoxia and hypoxemiadifference between saturated and unsaturated bondsdefinition of repetition in poetrydefinition of vaporization in scienceaunty spellingwhat is the difference between plant and animal mitosisbicameral countriesdifference between enzymes and hormonesadverbials exampleswhat is the difference between panko and bread crumbscladogram definitioninverting and noninverting op ampvascular definition plantsdefinition of robbery vs burglarysn1 and sn2 reactions of alkyl halideswhat is an assertive sentencedefine compound pendulumtypes of flagelladescribe the difference between distance and displacementowner equity formulashort story of jack and the beanstalkvitamin c iupac namewhat is the difference between a graveyard and a cemeteryformula for calculating equilibrium price and quantitywhat is provisional balance sheethow to calculate equilibrium price and quantity demand and supplynocturnal animals factsashok chakra in indian flagpolysyndeton exampleswhat is the main difference between binary fission and mitosisdifference between amine and amideamerican bully dog breed infoductility and malleability are examples ofdifference of typhoon and hurricanedolphin fin vs shark finwhat is the difference between sister chromatids and homologous pairsdifference between hemoglobin and myoglobinattributive adjective examplesgalvanometer and ammeterunavoidable fateenculturation and acculturationmood literary exampledifference between facetious and sarcasticdifference between functionalism and structuralism psychologysense and antisensedifference between marginal costing and absorption costingdefinition of absorbance in chemistrywhat are the characteristics of a command economyspectrophotometer transmittancejuxtaposition examples in literaturedifference between pasta and macronilimerick rhyme schemewhats is the difference between hiv and aidsfoot feet grammariubmb enzyme nomenclaturedifference between porcelain and ceramicwhat is predicate nominative exampleshow to start a descriptive essay about a personwhat's the difference between sherbet and sorbetdifference between single double and triple covalent bondstypes of intramolecular forcesenglish bull mastiffsis it flu or food poisoning