I'm stumped on a question. Its asking me to revise the following sentences to eliminate sentence fragments. How do I do this?These are the sentences: 1) biologists don't know why some wolves travel...

I'm stumped on a question. Its asking me to revise the following sentences to eliminate sentence fragments. How do I do this?

These are the sentences:

1) biologists don't know why some wolves travel farther than others. Swimming through the open sea to reach other islands.

2) In fact, Dr. Person says that before wolves were eliminated from Vancouver Island in the 1940s. It's likely that they routinely travelled between the island and the mainland.

Asked on by taygee666

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literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

A fragment is an incomplete sentence which does not contain a subject (a noun), a verb, or both a subject and a verb. In order to fix the sentences, one needs to make sure that the sentences contain these. Many times, fragments are dependant clauses (which mean they need a sentence to "latch on to").

1) biologists don't know why some wolves travel farther than others. Swimming through the open sea to reach other islands.

Here, the first "sentence" is grammatically correct (outside of the missing capital "B"). The second "sentence" poses a problem. The reader does not what is swimming. If the sentences are connected, which one can assume since they are grouped, then the sentence needs to address the fact that biologists are wondering if wolves are swimming through open waters. Here is how it can be fixed. 

Biologists don't know why some wolves travel farther than others. Some wolves may be swimming through the open sea to reach other islands.

2) In fact, Dr. Person says that before wolves were eliminated from Vancouver Island in the 1940s. It's likely that they routinely travelled between the island and the mainland.

These sentences need to be combined to create a grammatically correct sentence. (Also, the "it's" used in this way shows possession or a contraction. It is best to write out the two words "it is.") The first "sentence" is a fragment. The fixed sentence would look like this:

In fact, Dr. Pearson says that before wolves were eliminated from Vancouver, in the 1940s, it is likely that they routinely travelled between the island and the mainland.

etotheeyepi's profile pic

etotheeyepi | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

I'm no expert gramarian, but I give this a go.

1) biologists don't know why some wolves travel farther than others. Swimming through the open sea to reach other islands.

Biologists don't know why some wolves travel farther than others while swimming through the open sea to reach other islands.

Note the absence of a comma before "while." Adverbial clause which follow main clauses normally don't begin with commas.

2) In fact, Dr. Person says that before wolves were eliminated from Vancouver Island in the 1940s. It's likely that they routinely travelled between the island and the mainland.

In fact, Dr. Person says that before the elimination of wolves from Vancouver Island in the 1940s, they probably routinely travelled between the island and the mainland.

Note the use of a comma after the introductory adverbial clause. Some publishers like Atlantic Magazine and authors like James Joyce don't do this.  And Miss H says we should not use passive voice.  Miss H is such a poo.

3) Having learned as much as we could about the interesting wolves that live on the Alaska coast. We were determined to see them in their natural habitat.

Having learned as much as we could about the interesting wolves that live on the Alaska coast, we decided to see them in their natural habitat.

4) Dr. Person thought that the wolves' achievement swimming several kilometres across open ocean was amazing. An astonishing feat few other mammals could emulate.

Dr. Person thought that the wolves' achievement, swimming several kilometres across open ocean was amazing. An astonishing feat few other mammals could emulate.

The wolves' achievement, swimming several kilometers across open ocean, a feat, which few other mammals could emulate, astonished Dr. Person. 

Miss H says we should turn adjectives into verbs.  She's such a poo.

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