Is 手{て}が折{お}れた a natural way to express the situation where I broke a bone in my hand?

In English, saying "I broke my hand." and "I broke a bone in my hand." is pretty much the same to me (unless of course I gotta express which bone).

Maybe is 手が折れた an unnaturally sounding direct translation of English? Maybe 手の骨が折れた。 sounds more technical?


1 Answer 1


To me, 手が折れた is less natural than 手の骨が折れた, possibly because 手 is not something long to be snapped into two, even though 手の骨が折れた may sound a little technical as you said.

On the other hand, phrases like 腕が折れた, [脚]{あし}が折れた are natural, which in most cases mean that a bone of one's arm/leg is broken.

Note that, as a single verb 折れる does not literally mean "break a bone", 腕が折れた and so on is rather informal. To be formal, you have to say 腕の骨が折れた or 腕を骨折した.


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