Because I don't like him.

Someone said it was a correct sentence. But I disagree. It is a dependent clause which can't stand alone.

But she knows nothing about him.

Why is this sentence correct?

  • 2
    "Someone said..." Who is the "someone"? Friend? Teacher? Book? Famous English writer?
    – James K
    Mar 26, 2022 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


It is a fragment, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in conversational English. Fragments are common:

What's that?

A pencil.

The answer "A pencil" is clearly not a "sentence", but it is an acceptable response to the question. Similarly

Why didn't you talk to him?

Because I don't like him.

That is an acceptable response. It is a correct fragment of a sentence, that works as part of a conversation. However, if you are writing an essay, you should avoid such fragments. These examples work because they are part of a dialogue. An essay is a monologue.

  • 1
    Sometimes brevity is employed as a form of emphasis, or of implying that an answer is obvious. Also, there is a modern fashion to follow 'Because...' with one word. Why aren't you drinking vodka any more, Mother? Because Ukraine. Mar 26, 2022 at 19:28
  • But there are so many great Ukrainian, Polish, Finnish, vodkas..... Even Smirnoff (which is now technically British) - Which now begs the question... what will become of all the Russian Standard Vodka that has been taken off the shelves?
    – James K
    Mar 26, 2022 at 19:34
  • 1
    It could be used for disinfecting, like they do in Poland, and sometimes a large quantity can be re-distilled for use in industrial solvents. I once knew a girl whose father, a Dubliner, (60 years ago) worked for HM Customs in the Port of London who used to bring decent seized Scotch or Irish home saying it was 'a shame to pour it away'. I daresay he wasn't alone. Mar 26, 2022 at 19:50

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