The paragraph above has a topic sentence, then three fragments. Yes, fragments. Like this and the one before it. A fragment is a non-sentence; it does not have a subject and main verb. Students are taught that fragments are errors. Hogwash! Writers use fragments all the time. Your English teacher may not like it and the college admissions office may not either. But, learn to use the fragment.

~ Mylinh Shattan from,


Shattan is writing about writing, and mentions how sentence fragments can hold imagery. I’ve been wondering if this isn’t a critical skill for spoken conversation. Speaking a fragment feels like throwing up a sign post: “Exampleville 15” is helpful in that it gives a definite distance. Deep in a conversation, if I drop in a fragment, it can be a way to indicate I think we’re headed somewhere in particular; fragments can check that are trains of thought still match. Fragments dropped into conversation make sense—like inside jokes—because we’re both on the same journey.