(1) Test complete. [= The test is complete.]

(2) Court adjourned. [= The court is adjourned.]

(3) Apology accepted. [= The apology is accepted.]

(4) Request granted. [= The request is granted.]

I often come across these clause fragments. Native speakers seem to prefer these fragments over full clauses that are shown in the brackets.

Why is that and when are these types of fragments preferred to their full-clause versions?

  • Why is that…? Because it's quicker to say and people are already familiar with its meanings? This seems pretty bog-standard English speech that one uses to conclude a rather formal event, session, dispute, appeal,...
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 9:26
  • @Mari-LouA I'm not sure if formality has anything to do with it. For example, I can think of similar informal expressions such as Enough said.
    – JK2
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 14:48
  • Cliché phrases then. And you wouldn't hear a mother replying with the full sentence: "(Your) request (is/will be/shall be) granted" to her child's wanting an ice-cream, would you?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 15:15
  • Is “Court adjourned” preferred? From tv and films (I have no experience of actual court room proceedings), I would have said “Court is adjourned” is the most common. @Mari-LouA Would you be likely to hear a mother say, “Request granted” to a child wanting ice cream either? I mean, we’re not very intimate or lovey-dovey in my family, but even to me, that would seem a tad formal. Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 10:30

1 Answer 1


They are not fragments, not clauses in the first place. They are complete sentences with (in this case) an elided is as the OP has already noted.

  • Just because it doesn't have a verb doesn't mean it's not a clause. Even if your claim that the verb 'is' is elided is right, it's as much of a clause as is You sure?. Besides, it's not just the verb but also the article that's "elided."
    – JK2
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 14:28
  • @JK2 You mean the article is "missing" instead: else it would definitely would have been a sentence by your logic, right?
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 6:41

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