English speaking lesson | Talking about illnesses

Use the following expressions to talk about general pains and aches.

General aches and pains

  • I’ve a backache.
  • I’m getting toothache. OR I’m getting a toothache.
  • I’ve got a horrible cold.
  • I’ve a pain in the stomach.
  • Have you got a headache?
  • I’ve an earache.
  • I think I’ve got the flu.
  • Have you had the measles?
  • There’s a lot of flu around at the moment.
  • I’ve got a sore throat.
  • I’m never sea-sick.

Be sick can mean ‘vomit’.

  • I was sick two times in the night. (= I vomited two times in the night.)
  • I feel sick. (= I want to vomit.)
  • I feel sick to my stomach. (= I want to vomit.)

The expression throw up can also mean ‘vomit’.

  • I’m not feeling very well.
  • I’ve got a slight headache. (= a headache that isn’t very bad)
  • I must be going down with a cold. I’ve got a sore throat.
  • I’ve got a splitting headache. (= a very bad headache.)
  • I’m feeling sleepy.
  • I’ve got a shooting pain in the head.
  • I’ve got a dull pain in the head.
  • I’m not sleeping very well at the moment.
  • I feel a little faint.
  • I’ve got a nagging pain in my shoulder. (nagging = a pain that won’t go away)

Sympathetic responses

When people talk about their health problems, you will want to sympathize with them. Here are some sympathetic responses.

  • I hope it’s nothing serious.
  • I’m sorry to hear that.
  • Maybe you’re going down with something. There’s a bug going around.
  • You don’t look very well. What happened?
  • You look a little pale.
  • Don’t worry. All that you need is some rest.
  • If you aren’t feeling well, why don’t you go home and get some rest?
  • Maybe you should go home and have a lie-down.
  • Have a lie-down. It should ease the pain and discomfort.
  • Get some rest and take plenty of fluids. You’ll be alright.

Talking about mild illnesses

  • I’ve a touch of flu.
  • I’m running a temperature.
  • I’ve got a bit of temperature.
  • I’ve got a nasty cough.
  • I’ve got a bit of a stomach bug. (A bug is microorganism that causes illnesses. Examples are: bacteria and virus.)
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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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