I'm attempting to find an equivalent for the phrase "Broken, like glass.". It should hold its emotional weight, so what comes to my mind is: 「ガラスみたい、破った。」, but I'm not sure if holds the same notion, and if the order makes sense, or just sounds strange.

Would be there a better version? Or the proposed translation makes enough sense?

Also I am worried specially by the verb "to break", which seems a complicated verb. My primary language is spanish (And you can tell that there are many ways to say "break" also), so my guess is that there may be very distinct meanings of this verb in japanese, depending on which I choose.

  • 3
    What’s the thing that got broken in that context? Heart?
    – aguijonazo
    May 23, 2022 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


If I had to translate that phrase without knowing what got broken, I would probably put it this way.


First of all, you need an intransitive verb here. It’s kind of like using the impersonal pronoun “se” in Spanish, as in “se ha roto.”

The verb that is usually used for glass is [割]{わ}れる, but its meaning is specific and probably cannot be used for whatever is the other thing that got broken like glass. 壊れる is more general. Their transitive equivalents, by the way, are, respectively, [割]{わ}る and [壊]{こわ}す.

The verb you chose is [破]{やぶ}る, which is used for things like paper and cloth (if not a promise in a figurative usage). Besides, it is transitive. So 破った would mean that you or someone else intentionally tore something. Its intransitive version is [破]{やぶ}れる.

The に after ガラスみたい makes it an adverb to modify the verb. The sentence in the normal word order would be ガラスみたいに壊れた, but the inverted sentence above feels closer to the English.

If you wish to add a sense of regret, you could use the subsidiary verb しまう.


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