Vocabulary Lesson – Feeling Sick

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Ciao, ragazzi! I’ve had a cold for the last week or so, and I was thinking about all of the terms we use in English to talk about being sick. The thing that’s a little difficult about talking about sickness is not the individual vocabulary word, but the way we put them into sentences is a little difficult sometimes, so I thought I would teach you some examples of ways we talk about being sick. And you’ll have to excuse the sound of my stuffy nose, which could be our first vocabulary expression! When your nose feels very…full, and you can’t breathe very well, you can say you have “a STUFFY nose.” But, if your nose has the opposite problem, where there is a lot coming out of your nose, and you need to BLOW your nose all day, we say you have “a RUNNY nose.” Okay? So “a STUFFY nose.” Or you can say, “I’m all STUFFED UP.” or “Ugh, my nose won’t stop RUNNING. I have a RUNNY nose.” And then when you… you “BLOW your nose.” I have been COUGHING all day every day for a week and it’s “driving me crazy.” You can say, “I HAVE a COUGH.” “I have a bad cough this week.” or, “I’m coughing.” “Ugh, I keep coughing.” “I can’t stop coughing.” It’s pretty common to say “excuse me” after you cough, but you don’t need to. If you sneeze, which is “ah-choo!”, if you sneeze, that… you can say “excuse me” after you sneeze, but what’s very common is for another person to say something to you when you sneeze and some people say, “God bless you,” but they don’t usually say, “God – bless – you.” They might say it very quickly and it sounds something like, “Gablessyou.” I usually just say, “Bless you.” Sometimes Americans use the German word “gesundheit,” but it’s not very common. When you have a cold you can have a headache. So “a headACHE,” “a stomach ACHE,” “a toothACHE,” but we don’t say “a throat ache,” we say “a SORE throat.” It’s the same word that we use for muscles. If you go to the gym and you lift a lot of weight, and then the next day or the day after that, you might feel very SORE, where “Oh! Ow, ooh!” Oh, we also have “an earACHE.” But I don’t know what else we have that is SORE… sore…hmm… “a sore loser,” no, okay, I’m tired! And one other thing is that if you have a sore throat and maybe you’re coughing a lot, “if you start to talk like this and it’s hard to understand,” you can say, “I’m LOSING MY VOICE.” That also is an irregular past tense, so you could call work: “I lost my voice. I can’t talk, I can’t come to work today.” “I LOST my voice.” When we talk about being sick in general, the kind of sickness where you have the runny nose and the cough, and you don’t feel well, maybe you have a headache… a “raffreddore” in Italian… we say “a cold.” A COLD So the adjective “cold,” made into a noun: “a COLD.” You can have “a bad cold.” You can have “a severe cold.” The verbs we use about “a cold” are interesting because you can “HAVE a cold,” you can “CATCH a cold.” “Catch” is the verb “catch a ball,” which, remember, is irregular in the simple past, so: “Last week I CAUGHT a cold.” With “SICK,” with the adjective “SICK,” we don’t say “catch sick,” because “sick” is an adjective, not a noun. And so you say, “I GOT sick.” “I got sick.” It means, “I became sick.” “GET” could probably be a whole different lesson because “GET” has many uses in English and sometimes it means “become,” and in this situation, it does mean “become.” “I got sick last week.” “I got sick last week. I caught a cold last week.” But right now I would say, “Right now, I AM sick.” “Right now, I HAVE a cold.” If you have a FEVER, you would just say, “I have a fever.” “Ugh, I’m burning up!” Okay, if you’re being very dramatic and you’re…very hot. Okay, INFLUENZA, which many people get and can be very serious, especially in the winter it’s very common. We do have the word “influenza,” but most people just say “FLU,” “THE FLU.” “I have the flu.” If you have a different kind of being sick, because you can be sick, but not have a cold, or not have the flu, umm, lets say you are sick, um, in your stomach, okay, if you ate something bad or there are some kinds of viruses, we can say “a stomach VIRUS.” Sometimes people say, “a stomach BUG.” It’s more colloquial. “Oh, I caught a stomach bug.” You know that terrible feeling when your stomach hurts, you don’t want to eat and when it’s very bad you feel like you can’t do anything, you can’t even read a book, you just need to lie down and let that feeling go away? You’re afraid that if you move too much you might throw up. That feeling has a few different ways of saying it and pronunciation. So, you could say, the noun is “NAUSEA.” I’ve also heard it pronounced “NAU-SE-A.” It is written like “NAU-SE-A,” but many people say “NAUSEA.” And the adjective is either “NAUSEATED” or “NAUSEOUS.” So you can say, “Ugh, I feel NAUSEOUS,” or “I feel NAUSEATED.” If something you see is very disgusting and it makes you feel sick you can say, “That is NAUSEATING,” or “That NAUSEATES me,” or, “That makes me NAUSEOUS.” What happens if the nausea leads to the result you don’t want, that you’re trying to avoid. Sometimes it happens! The… *blahhh!* okay, that has many, many words and as you can imagine, it has many slang words, as well. So I’m not going to teach you all of those. Maybe in a different video we can do, uh, some fun slang but I think for right now I’ll just tell you the most common words that I use for that, which is, um, “THROW UP,” so yes, that’s a phrasal verb. “VOMIT” is the word that probably is more common for doctors to use. Okay, maybe if you’re in a situation like work where you don’t want to say, explicitly, what is going to happen, but you feel like you might throw up, you can say, “Ugh, I’m going to be sick,” “I think I’m going to be sick,” if you need to run out of the room. Okay, “sick” of course means general illness, but in that situation, if you say, “I’m GOING TO BE sick,” it means, “throw up.” If you want to show that you don’t feel well and you think you are getting a cold, you can say, “I think I’m GETTING sick,” or, “I think I’m getting a cold.” But, “I think I’m going to be sick” usually means “throw up.” So, “VOMIT,” “THROW UP,” “GOING TO BE SICK,” and “PUKE” is probably the more common slang word that at least kids say. “Ugh, you puked, gross!” So, that’s it for today’s lesson. I don’t want to just list many, many words about sickness and illness because of course there are many more things I could say about that, but I was more interested in telling you the sentences that we use these words in and, in particular, the ones that are a little difficult. Grazie, thank you so much for watching, and I will see you next time!

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