A theoretical discussion has been presented for the ductile chip formation in grinding of brittle materials. The single abrasive grit was dealt with a top-rounded cutter removing material of varying undeformed chip thickness. The force model in the chip formation zone was established. The stress analysis showed that larger compressive stress and shear stress can be generated in the chip formation zone, which shields the growth of pre-existing flaws in the material by suppressing the stress intensity factor. When the stress intensify factor is smaller than fracture toughness and the resolved shear stress exceeds the critical flow stress of the material, the ductile chip is formed. Experiments of monocrystal silicon grinding were conducted. The results show that the thrust force is much larger than the cutting force, which ensures the larger compressive stress in the chip formation zone and the formation of ductile chip.