I have a present tense sentence where I can't tell if adding -s or -ed at the end of verb.

The sentence goes like this :

He falls down right after he gets the kite causing his leg to injure.

The injure word here, should it be added by -s since it is referring to leg which is singular and synchronized with the present tense sentence? Or should it be in a past tense form because he gets the injury right after he gets the kite?

  • 2
    Neither is correct. "To injure" means to cause injury to something else. So when you say "his leg injures", that means his leg is hurting something else. What you want is the passive voice: "...causing his leg to be injured."
    – stangdon
    Sep 18 '18 at 15:15
  • @stangdon Correct me if I'm wrong. Based on your explanation, I seem to understand the usage now when you are mentioning the passive voice. So basically, when we say something in present tense form and there is a change in a state caused by a certain action, then we need to change the verb to a past tense. Is it something like that?
    – Emerald
    Sep 18 '18 at 15:29
  • Almost correct: we use the passive voice when we want to talk about something being acted on by something else, and we use the past participle. So for example, they ate the cake, but the cake was eaten.
    – stangdon
    Sep 18 '18 at 15:34
  • Great! that's easy for me to understand. Thank you so much :)
    – Emerald
    Sep 18 '18 at 15:38

The verbs falls and gets are in 3rd-person singular present tense. You are correct.

However, the verb injure cannot be used like that. The leg becomes injured.

He falls down right after he gets the kite, injuring his leg.

He falls down right after he gets the kite and injures his leg.


This is an infinitive (signalled by the infinitive marker to), so it does not take any inflectional suffix for person or tense.

However, we do not say that someone or something injures to mean that it "receives" an injury. This may be expressed either with another subject, as in Tᴚoɯɐuo's Answer, or with leg as subject in the passive voice, as stangdon says in a Comment.

The passive requires an auxiliary, formally BE or informally GET, and it is that which is cast in the infinitive, followed by the passive participle form of injure. With injure, a regular verb, this form happens to be identical with the past form, but this is not always the case, so we have to distinguish between past participle and past-tense forms:

. . . causing his leg to be injured, but
. . . causing his leg to be broken.

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