Which of the following is a phrase fragment?

A) Since the weather forecast is beautiful this weekend.

B) Let's ask our parents if we can go tubing.

C) Did you just say that?

D) A great dog, that’s what we have!

I think the answer is A because there is no subject in A, correct? Also is A classified as an adverbial clause?

1 Answer 1


A) is the correct choice, but not because it lacks a subject: its subject is the weather forecast.

This cannot properly be described as a “phrase fragment”, which is not a term which has any fixed meaning. It is a “sentence fragment”—a string of words which not a complete sentence.

It is in fact more than a complete sentence: it is an ordinary sentence, The weather forecast is beautiful this weekend which is introduced by the ‘subordinating conjunction’ or ‘conjunctive preposition’ since. That word marks the following clause as a subordinate part of a main or ‘matrix’ clause: in this case, as you say, a clause playing an adverbial role in ‘modifying’ the entire matrix clause.

  • +1 This is useful for me too. Though I knew the answer, and that it can be classified as an adverbial clause, I wasn't sure how to untangle the terminologies properly (sentence, clause, phrase, and fragment). Thank you. Jan 12, 2014 at 11:56
  • 1
    @DamkerngT. Fifty years ago, when I first learned English grammar, terminology was a mess, because it was largely borrowed from a very different language, Latin, and because, frankly, most high school teachers didn't really understand what they were teaching. Today terminology is an even worse mess, because the study of grammar has become far more sophisticated and there are competing analyses, each with its own set of terms; and the high school teachers have in consequence a lot more to learn and a lot more opportunities for misunderstanding. Jan 12, 2014 at 12:05

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