Ling. 501 PS 9 Writing due 4/7/ 09 I. You were probably taught that you are supposed to write in complete sentences, and avoid “sentence fragments.” You were probably also taught that “a sentence is a complete thought.” Can you think of an example where 1 complete thought is expressed by 2 sentences, or where something other than a sentence expresses a complete thought? So how are you supposed to tell what a “complete sentence” is? Linguists define “sentence” as a Subject, tense and a predicate. But as we discussed during the syntax part of the class, even if you aren’t sure what a predicate is, you can apply the following exercise to determine whether a string of words is a sentence or a “fragment.”: If you can make the sting of words into a grammatical question without adding any words except do/did/does, it’s a sentence. (note: This won’t work if the string of words is already a question….) For example: We were sleeping Were we sleeping? The inn on the hill takes reservations. Does the inn on the hill take reservations? When Mary left, Bill was heartbroken. When Mary left, was Bill heartbroken?But: While we were sleeping. *????Were while we sleeping? Because I said so. *??? Did because I say so? Use this test to determine whether the following are complete sentences: Find the first auxiliary verb, and that word to the beginning. If there’s no auxiliary, put do/did/does at the beginning of the sentence and make the verb “bare.” Does it sound like English? 1. 2. 3, 4. 5. 6. The teacher’s long boring lectures have been putting Kathryn to sleep. Actually, Tony plays the guitar. In your dreams. Ducks can quack. Sitting on the dock of the bay. Whatever you want. II. Actually, famous authors use sentence fragments all the time. Below is a passage from The Shipping News, by E. Annie Proulx. Identify the fragments and rewrite the passage making all fragments into complete sentences. Then, try to figure out when exactly it’s ok to use fragments. (Try to be more precise than “When you’re being poetic or expressive” From The Shipping News: The next evening Quoyle was there, gripping paper bags. The front of Partridge’s house, the empty street drenched in amber light. A gilded hour. In the bags a packet of imported Swedish crackers, bottles of red, pink and white wine, foil-wrapped triangles of foreign cheeses. Some kind of hot, juggling music on the other side of Partridge’s door that thrilled Quoyle.