SOURCE (Javalatte's comment)

hurt as an intransitive verb is definitely mixed, and the majority of people consider that the non-continuous meaning relates to physical pain

Can somebody explain why the non continuous meaning relates to physical pain? Is it because the physical pain can not be seen (my stomach hurts) and in case the pain can be seen (example I am bleeding), is it better to use continuous tense?

  • I think I can recall sentences in which "hurting" were used to refer to the physical pain. e.g., My back is hurting me.
    – Cardinal
    Jun 11, 2017 at 13:38
  • Are you saying that "I hurt" always refers to physical pain? While "I am hurting" can refer to physical or non-physical pain? Because this is not necessarily true.
    – Andrew
    Jun 11, 2017 at 14:53
  • so is there a rule to use hurt with a continuous tense. By the way I am not saying anything ,I found this "hurt as an intransitive.....pain." in an answer so I am wondering when to use hurt with a continuous tense. I have not found a clear answer
    – Yves Lefol
    Jun 11, 2017 at 16:47
  • Yes. You can use hurt with a continuous tense. Tᴚoɯɐuo's answer seems clear to me. What do you find confusing about it? Jun 11, 2017 at 19:55
  • yes but with both examples he said that we can use continuous or not , he does not explain when to use it
    – Yves Lefol
    Jun 11, 2017 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


Why do people consider that the non-continuous meaning relates to physical pain?

They don't.

My stomach hurts.

My stomach is hurting.

My heart hurts for her.

My heart is hurting for her.

That bat struck that guy when the player threw it, and it looked like it hurt.

She told him she hated his guts, and from the expression on his face, it hurt.

I'm sure his head is hurting from getting struck upside of the head with a bat.

Undoubtedly his feelings are hurting from being rejected brutally by that girl.

These don't have an irregular meaning just because one is continuous and the other is not, and it doesn't matter if the pain is physical or other type.

  • So can you explain me why you chose continuous for some sentences and simple for the rest .
    – Yves Lefol
    Jun 13, 2017 at 15:07
  • ecenglish.com/learnenglish/… - this gives you a general overview of the difference between simple and progressive/continuous.
    – LawrenceC
    Jun 13, 2017 at 15:09
  • Is it because in the last two sentences it is what is happening right now (I am sure for 7th sentence) The difference between continuous and simple I know it theorically but with this kind of sentences it is more subtle
    – Yves Lefol
    Jun 13, 2017 at 15:30

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