Students in my regular daytime classroom are studying health care this week, so the word “hurt” has come up several times recently.
1. The verb “hurt” can be transitive or intransitive. A transitive verb is followed by an object:
Joe hurt his back. (The word “back” is an object.)
Rita hurt her finger. (The word “finger” is an object.)
2. An intransitive verb doesn’t require an object. The sentence can end with the verb:
Joe’s back hurts.
Rita’s finger hurts.
My eyes hurt.
(Notice the difference between the singular and the plural in the present tense?
3. You often hear “hurt” in the passive voice:
Joe’s back was hurt in an accident.
Several people were hurt in the fire.
His feelings were hurt by the girl’s rude comments.
Their chances of getting a loan have been hurt by their poor credit history.
4. The verb “hurt” can also be used to describe a problem:
He hurt his chances of getting the job by arriving at the interview late.
High oil prices hurt the economy.
High prices on food hurt consumers.
A long separation can hurt a relationship.
It doesn’t hurt to practice before a game. In fact, it improves the team’s chances of winning.
5. There’s one last thing to mention. The verb “hurt” is irregular, so sometimes it’s difficult to determine the tense of the verb:
过去分词past participle: hurt
?My feet hurt right now. (present tense, plural 一般现在时，复数)
?My feet hurt yesterday. (past tense, plural 一般过去时，复数)
?My feet have hurt for the last week. (present perfect tense, plural 现在完成时，复数)
?Her tooth hurts. (present tense, singular 一般现在时，单数)
?Her tooth hurt yesterday. (past tense, singular 一般过去式，单数)
?Her tooth has been hurting for the last week or so. (present perfect continuous tense, singular 现在完成进行时，单数)