How to say correctly:

1) Sugar is added to the coffee.
2) Sugar added to the coffee.


1) Software is tested successfully.
2) Software tested successfully.

Thank you in advance

  • 2
    What do you mean by 'correct'? Some would argue that sentences are always to be preferred, while others would say that deleted versions are often quite acceptable. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 3 '15 at 7:55

If you want to be correct and use FULL sentences then "Sugar is added to the coffee" and "(The) Software is tested successfully" Besides, those are sentences by their own.

The second variants may be a shorter, less formal way to tell the same thing. Also, the second variants may be a part of a complex sentence, e.g.

"Sugar added to the coffee was not sweet at all". %) "Software tested successfully two days ago is broken again now".

So it depends...


In headlines and similar situations, the verb be is often elided. It saves space, most readers will understand that be is implied, and some may argue it enables faster reading and understanding.

So if you write down a list of what has happened this morning, you might very well write a list like:

events this morning:

  • software tested successfully
  • sugar added to coffee
  • list added to my log

However, in a normal piece of prose or speech, we do not normally elide verbs. So if someone asks what has happened with the software, you reply the software was tested successfully. If they are looking for the sugar, you can tell them that the sugar was added to the coffee.

As Evgenii mentions in their answer, there is another way the construction without the verb can be correct, but then it has a different meaning.

You can use added to the coffee as an adjectival phrase to modify _sugar__: you describe what (kind of) sugar you are talking about. This is not used, however when you are talking about a specific amount of sugar.

Sugar (that is) added to coffee makes it sweet. In general, for any sugar added to any coffee.
Sugar (that is) added to the coffee makes it sweet. Any sugar added to this specific coffee.
The sugar (that is) added to the coffee made it sweet. This sugar in this specific coffee.

In all three cases we can leave out that is. But in the general cases, we can not use the sentence to indicate a specific event:

*Sugar added to coffee was the last sugar we had.

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