In the next situation...:

(I am talking with my friend in the afternoon about something which happened to me in the morning. As you can notice all happened in the same day...):

Me: I woke up this morning and I noticed an huge pain in my leg, so I think it is hurt (hurt is in Simple Past).

I said: "It is hurt" automatically, but I do not know the reason, I translated fast in my mind and it sounded good for me, but... if I analyse a little the sentence, when I said "I think it is hurt" that problem could has my leg yet, in the moment that I am talking with my friend (a muscle could be damaged or something but I do not feel the pain in that moment). So... Why do not I use: "I think it is hurting"?, for me it has not much sense, but talking gramatically for me it does not seems a bad option because as I said before it is something which I could have in the moment that I am talking (an hurt in my leg).


You couldn't really say, "I think it is hurting", as you already said the leg is in pain. Hurting describes that its in pain, while "it is hurt" is saying something isn't right.

You could have said, "I woke up this morning and I noticed my leg hurting, so I think it is broken/damaged".

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  • "Broken" of a limb always means a broken bone; so I don't think anybody would say "I think it is broken" unless they think they have broken the bone. – Colin Fine Aug 13 '19 at 16:09

The verb hurt has rather different meanings when it is transitive or intransitive.

The transitive verb hurt means "injure, wound, inflict pain". From this comes the past participle hurt which means "injured, wounded, having pain inflicted".

So "it is hurt" is either an adjectival use of this past participle, or in some contexts a present passive. Either way it means that something has hurt it - injured it, wounded it, or inflicted pain on it.

The intransitive verb hurt means "feel pain". It is usually used of body parts, but occasionally of people. "It is hurting" is nearly always using this sense: it means "it feels painful".

So, about your leg, you have just said that you feel pain in it, so I don't think you mean "it is hurting": that would be a perfectly good thing to say, but it means the same as what you have just said. But I don't think you would say "it is hurt" either, because that would imply "somebody or something has hurt it".

You might say "I think it's injured", or possibly "I think it's damaged" - though both of those might suggest you think that some external agent has done it.

I think the most likely colloquial thing to say is "I think there's something wrong with it".

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  • I don't think anyone would say, " I think there's something wrong with it", if it wasn't in pain. Its obvious something is wrong with it, else it wouldn't hurt. – rkchl Aug 13 '19 at 16:21
  • @rkchl That's not at all true. Your leg can be completely pain free, yet still have something wrong with it. A rash that doesn't itch. Perhaps it won't straighten all the way (but it still doesn't hurt). Maybe it's numb and there's a lack of sensation. – Jason Bassford Aug 14 '19 at 5:23

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