RedPen Editing

Home > RedPen Editing Sentences
When is a sentence not a sentence?
When it’s a fragment! For a sentence to be a sentence, it must have a finite verb and a subject for this verb.
  • What’s a finite verb?
    A verb starting with ‘to’  is called an infinite verb: to write, to think, to dream.
    A verb ending in -ing, might be a participle or a gerund: writing, thinking, dreaming
    Any other form of the verb is called finite.
  • The subject will be a noun, a noun phrase or a pronoun.
    Nouns which name something/someone/somewhere are called proper nouns: Scrabble, Anne, London.
    A noun phrase might include an adjective: the red pen, a heavy edit, your latest novel
    A pronoun stands in for a noun/noun phrase: I, me, mine
For the sentence to be grammatically correct, the finite verb and the subject for this verb  have to agree – and this is the topic for another day.