English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to make a sentence like the following:

His arms were strong from lifting weights.

I'm not sure if it's grammatically correct though. When I googled "were strong from" only 3 pages came up. Why is that?

If it's not grammatically correct, then what could I use instead?

share|improve this question

It's perfectly grammatical, nothing is wrong with it, but probably you might want to use present tense:

His hands are strong from lifting weights.

Either way, both are correct.

share|improve this answer
I agree. "His arms were strong from lifting weights" sounds like a description of a character in a book. "His arms are strong from lifting weights" sounds like how I would describe someone to my friend. – Kit Z. Fox Jun 30 '11 at 19:24
We have no idea how he's using the sentence. Both tenses work in certain situations . – jackgill Jun 30 '11 at 19:45
@jackgill: you should be ashamed of yourself. I clearly said both are correct. You only down-voted my answer, because you are competing with your answer. – RiMMER Jun 30 '11 at 19:54
I have the feeling that using the word from to mean as a result of is perhaps somewhat informal/slangy, and I don't see that switching to present tense somehow make it more acceptable. But in the end I don't have a problem with OP's example anyway, so I'm happy to upvote this answer. – FumbleFingers Jun 30 '11 at 20:25

This sounds perfectly grammatical to me. I probably would change it to:

He had strong arms from lifting weights

to avoid it sounding like the arms themselves were exercising.

share|improve this answer
or "His hands are strong from his lifting weights." thereof – RiMMER Jun 30 '11 at 19:04
yes, but this sounds awkward to me – jackgill Jun 30 '11 at 19:04

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.