I apologize if this has been asked before, but I cannot find a clear answer.

I am analyzing a statement and attempting to determine if it is a fragment or complete sentence. This is the general idea of the structure:

-The faster I ran, the stronger I became.

-The harder the wind blew, the colder the air felt.

-The longer I looked, the more confused I was.

The [adverb] [subject] [verb], the [adverb] [subject] [verb].

Is this sentence structure considered a full statement, or a fragment?

  • They are fully grammatical sentences, and examples of the 'correlative comparative construction'. In "[The faster] I ran, [the stronger] I became" the bracketed elements are the 'correlative' phrases. The subordinate clause "the faster I ran" and the head clause "the stronger I became" both have the comparative phrase in front position. Nothing to fret about. Incidentally, the determinative "the" acts as a modifier in the comparative phrases.
    – BillJ
    Jul 3 '18 at 19:15
  • The first phrase isn't really a clause -- it's a phrase containing a reduced relative clause. "The faster [that] I ran ____" The trace is not a noun, but an adverbial ('[the] faster').
    – AmI
    Jul 3 '18 at 19:22
  • It's not an NP; it's a clause where the comparative phrase happens to be fronted. "Faster" is not antecedent for a relativized word since it cannot be construed as a noun phrase.
    – BillJ
    Jul 4 '18 at 6:02

It has a subject and a predicate. There's a noun and an action the noun is "doing". So, yes, it's a complete sentence.


  • Just to be clear, does that mean that the articles, "the", do not change the grammar usage of the parts of speech? I suppose I'm still confused. To rearrange, "I ran faster, I became stronger" is a complete sentence with two independent clauses. However, "The faster I ran" is not a full statement, nor is "The stronger I became" when used alone. In a way, both appear to be subjects to me. Is this incorrect? I interpret it as "My faster running, my stronger being", which does not have a verb. I feel as though both structures have the verb omitted, but that would mean it is a fragment.
    – K.C. Glynn
    Jul 3 '18 at 18:13
  • 1
    "I ran faster, I became stronger" does not mean the same thing as "The faster I ran, the stronger I became", because it lacks the causative denotation. Becoming stronger was a result of running faster. Someone has asked about this before: english.stackexchange.com/questions/3944/… And an answer suggested this site, which will help: thoughtco.com/what-is-comparative-correlative-grammar-1689769
    – DerpDevil
    Jul 3 '18 at 18:25

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