Anacoluthon is the term for when a writer interrupts the expected grammatical flow of a sentence. Typically, anacoluthon, when used deliberately in writing, signals spoken language or the internal, self-reflective language of the characters. Anacoluthon can be deliberate, or amateur writers may not realize they are not using grammatically correct structures.
I can't believe Christmas is-I just haven't finished my shopping yet!
I agree that children should-Wait! Did you just see that car run the red light?
Marie, will you help me pour the-careful not to spill.
Examples of Anacoluthon from Literature
From Hamlet by Shakespeare:
To die, to sleep--
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to?
?To die, to sleep--
To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub?
From King Lear by Shakespeare:
I will have such revenges on you both,
That all the world shall-I will do such things,
What they are, yet I know not
Literary Terms Examples