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? – Esoteric Screen Name Nov 10 '16 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. – Judicious Allure Nov 10 '16 at 16:38
  • 1
    Are you referring to constructions like "Sometimes things broken can be put back together"? – stangdon Nov 10 '16 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. – Judicious Allure Nov 10 '16 at 19:06

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.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.