A sentence is a series of words that puts a clear idea or picture in your mind, without confusing you or saying too much at once.

Printable guide

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Click to download the printable guide


If the above definition seems too vague (too fuzzy and unclear) for you, you're not alone. You may sometimes get irritated by the writing process, because this is what often happens:

1. You write something.
2. You check it and it seems OK.
3. Your teacher reads it and slashes it with red (or green, or purple) ink.
4. Your teacher then points at the paper and says:
   "That's a sentence fragment!"  or
   "That's a run-on sentence!"

5. You get irritated.

How to stop sentence irritation

First of all, forget about the terms "run-on sentence" and "sentence fragment" for now. Does that relax you a little? Good. Now let's move on.

Remember this rule. It has no exceptions: Every sentence must begin with a capital letter and end with one of these: a period (.), a question mark (?) or an exclamation point (!).

Here's how to tell if you're reading a sentence: Every sentence, when read by itself, must make sense and not overload you with too much. If the sentence makes you say, "Huh?" or "Whoa, whoa, whoa," then it's probably not a sentence.

There are a lot of example on the printable guide (just below) that accompanies this lesson. Click it, read it, and do the assessment at the end. For more help, watch the video!