Is it grammatically correct to say "sometimes things broken" instead of "sometimes things are broken"?

According to what I know, when using passive voice of word it requires "to be" auxiliary verb before. That's why I think that it's not correct to say "sometimes things broken" (instead of "sometimes things are broken"). But recently I could notice in the spoken English when talking to people or even while watching television, that the using of the passive form without auxiliary verb is pretty common. What is the explanation for that?

n.b. I know already about "reduced relative clause" that its issue is pretty close to my question, but the difference is that my question is not about relative cluase but it is auxiliary verb.

  • Can you give some examples of passive forms without auxiliaries you've encountered, and the context? Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 16:27
  • As I wrote I saw it mainly while talking with native English speakers at my university, but also on videos or TV. I didn't come with examples from the media. But I believe that with a short (and right) research on google it's possible to find a lot. Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 16:38
  • 1
    Are you referring to constructions like "Sometimes things broken can be put back together"?
    – stangdon
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 16:52
  • No. I refer to cases such: my friend hold glass and suddenly it fail and was broken. I told him about it: never mind, sometimes things (are) broken. Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


No, sometimes things broken is not correct. You rightly identify that an auxiliary verb is required to complete the passive construction. Alternatively, you could change it to an active one: sometimes things break.

The likely explanation for the auxiliary-less constructions you've encountered is grammatical error.

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