If we do something that strains our muscle and we feel a sudden pang of pain "pull a muscle" is used. But if someone pushed another person and the person who was pushed feels the pain due to the muscle spasm, what will be used (the person didn't do it himself, but it happened because someone pushed him). What will be used in this context?

I pulled a muscle.

A muscle pulled in my arm.

So what will be used #1 or #2?


For most sorts of injury, the subject is the person injured, not the part of the body. It doesn't matter if the person was responsible for the injury or not.

I broke my leg.
I sprained my ankle.
I pulled a muscle in my back.

For some sorts of injury, where it is someone else's fault or is caused by their action, you can also put another person in there.

You broke my leg!
You bruised my arm.

People will occasionally use "a muscle pulled", but I wouldn't consider it standard, or natural.

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  • 1
    So will "I pulled a muscle" used, when it's someone else's fault as well? – It's about English Apr 17 '19 at 14:10
  • 2
    @It'saboutEnglish Yes. That's how we talk about injuries. You could say "X made me pull a muscle", or "I pulled a muscle and it's X's fault", and you could say the same with a broken bone as well. With a broken bone, you also have the option of saying someone else broke it, but with a pulled muscle you don't. – SamBC Apr 17 '19 at 14:14

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