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fragments or sentences

 
 
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 02:00 am
1. I am.
2. He is.
3. We are.
4. She did.

Are the above sentences or are they fragments? If neither, what are they called?

Many thanks.
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 1,182 • Replies: 11
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aidan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 02:14 am
@tanguatlay,
A sentence begins with a capital letter, contains a subject and a verb, expresses a complete thought and ends with a period (full stop), question mark or exclamation point.
These satisfy all those criteria- including the expression of a complete thought when used as answers to questions - such as, 'Are you going to the picnic on Saturday?'
'I am.'
'Is he going to the picnic on Saturday?' He is.
Are we going to the picnic on Saturday? We are.
Did she go to the picnic on Saturday? She did.

So I would call these sentences.
solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 03:08 am
@aidan,
i love pyknic

theyre so cuddly

oh my i'm a sandwich short
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 03:19 am
@solipsister,
Laughing Laughing
Quote:
oh my i'm a sandwich short

that's alright - I already ate-I'm just here for the chocolate cake.
0 Replies
 
Calliope
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 07:39 am
@solipsister,
Quote:
i love pyknic

theyre so cuddly

oh my i'm a sandwich short


Cuddly is my favourite euphemism.
Don't worry about the missing sandwich. Take one of my loose roos.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 11:09 am
@aidan,
Quote:
contains a subject and a verb,


I wonder, Aidan, would,

Go.

OR

Stay!

qualify as sentences.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 11:47 am
@JTT,
Yes- not that I think you don't know this, but Mrs. Tan might be interested in this information:
Quote:
What is a one-word sentence called?

An imperative sentence can be as short as one word, such as: "Go." Technically, a sentence must contain at least a subject and a verb, but in this case, the subject (you) is assumed and understood.

Just remember that not every one-word phrase is really a sentence. Let's look at an example: "She was unable to sleep. Again."

Here, "Again" is technically not a sentence since it's missing a subject (or a presumed subject like the imperative) and a verb. You can certainly write like this as you have the poetic and literary license, but the simple act of putting a period after a word does not a sentence make.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 11:59 am
@aidan,
Well, I must admit to not being 100% sure, Aidan.

And I'm sure that your research has added a page to Ms Tan's book. I know it has to mine.

May I make one small point regarding what this author has written?

A 'sentence' is not the be all and the end all. I think that that is the impression that the person in your quote is trying to make. Speech and writing are very different aspects of language. Speech, and the rules governing the same, do not have to meet the rules for writing, as if the rules for writing set an ideal.

We all intuitively know this is true but those school house lessons are sometimes hard to put aside, even when they have no veracity.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 01:35 pm
@JTT,
At the risk of sounding as pendantic as you, JTT, may I point out that no one on this thread has suggested that speaking -- or even writing -- in what are called complete sentences is necessary to achieve understanding, nor even that the use of complete sentences is desirable in all cases. Ms. Tan asked whether her examples are or are not complete sentences. By definition, yes, they are. Why the need to comment that 'a "sentence" is not the be all and the end all'? I don't see anyone on this thread claiming that it is.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 02:35 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
A 'sentence' is not the be all and the end all. I think that that is the impression that the person in your quote is trying to make.

No - the person who wrote that stated that writers could certainly allow themselves poetic license:
Quote:
Here, "Again" is technically not a sentence since it's missing a subject (or a presumed subject like the imperative) and a verb. You can certainly write like this as you have the poetic and literary license, but the simple act of putting a period after a word does not a sentence make.

And as an avid reader- I'd stress that point in that I'd much rather read writing that sounds natural and akin to what that same person might speak as opposed to more formally and obviously carefully grammatically constructed and punctuated English that reads or scans unnaturally.

I do it myself - I overuse the dash when I write because that's how I would speak- in run on sentences.
Quote:
Constructed Speech and writing are very different aspects of language. Speech, and the rules governing the same, do not have to meet the rules for writing, as if the rules for writing set an ideal.

I agree.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 02:41 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Thanks for your comments, Merry. You were hardly being pedantic. You've merely expressed your opinion.

I certainly didn't state nor was I suggesting that anyone from A2K was suggesting what you've laid out here. But having been involved in the field of language teaching for over 20 years, I know what ESLs are exposed to and I know that the idea that the rules for writing have been thought to be what should guide speech.

You've heard of the careful writer and the careful speaker; you've heard it said, often, that we mustn't use ain't, that we can't use 'was' with 'if' for counterfactuals, the list is long.

We often hear people, not just ESLs, ask; "Is this correct?", and where is the first place people go to answer, to how we write, to Standard English.

As you well now by now, that's not the standard for correctness.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 03:08 pm
@aidan,
Quote:
No - the person who wrote that stated that writers could certainly allow themselves poetic license:


That in itself, Aidan, attempts to portray that a person has "gone against" what is the standard, what is the correct way to do things.

What does "technically" mean. It simply provides cover for a set of artificial standards that this person holds to. If we can allow that an imperative can have a presumed subject, it does, our natural rules tell us that, then is it that much of a stretch to allow that there is also some measure of elision with "Again"?

Yes, of course we need these bits of terminology as a way for us to be able to discuss the ways of language, but they aren't the guidelines of "good". No one has to grant us poetic license to use our language for we all know the rules of our language.

Those things that exist in books that are described as rules are merely descriptions of how we use language and they have to take into consideration the circumstances surrounding that use. The prescriptions, even when they've had a measure of accuracy, demanded a "one size fits all". That's hardly the measure of truth.

Quote:
I do it myself - I overuse the dash when I write because that's how I would speak- in run on sentences.


How could you possibly be "overusing" the dash when you use it precisely in the manner to effect the very thing you're trying to effect?

To determine this "overuse", where would the prescriptivists run but to a style manual. But which one, they all have conflicting advice, and would it even have an entry for such a use.

No. these are aimed at formal/academic writing, yet, correct me if I'm wrong here, what guidelines do people use to determine what's "correct"?

Merry, did you not run to a source [even if it was old memory] that stated, erroneously, that 'data' was the plural of 'datum'?

A strong sense of prescription pervades everyone's feelings on language. If someone is "corrected" for using what is a completely natural usage, [there's one now] they immediately assume what? that they've made a mistake.
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