Use the following phrases to talk about body pain.
- My arm / leg hurts.
- My wrist is sore.
- I’ve a nagging pain (= a pain that doesn’t go away) in the shoulder.
- I sprained my ankle while I was playing football.
- I have pain below my right rib cage.
To sprain is to injure a joint by twisting violently so that there is pain and swelling. It is not the same as breaking a bone. When you break a bone, the injury is to the bone itself but when you sprain a body part you are hurting the tissue that connects the bone.
- I can’t walk that well.
- I can’t move that much because of the leg pains.
- I can’t bend my knee that well.
- I fell off the stairs and broke my leg yesterday.
- My mother has arthritis so she can’t move her hands and legs well.
Use the following phrases to talk about pains and aches affecting the legs.
- My legs are very sore because I went hiking yesterday.
- My legs are all sore because I went jogging in the morning.
- I often get cramps on my calf.
- My shoes hurt me a lot.
- I banged my little toe against the wall yesterday.
- He gave me a charley horse yesterday and my leg is still sore. (To give somebody a charley horse is to hit them in the thigh.)
- I banged my knee against the table and it still hurts.
- I broke my leg last year while playing basketball.
- He fell off the ladder and broke his knee.
- I think I’ve sprained my ankle. It’s swollen.
The head area
Use the following phrases to talk about aches and pains affecting the head area.
- I’ve a sore throat.
- I’ve got a horrible cold.
- I always get a cold during the winter season.
- I’m allergic to dust.
- I’m getting toothache. OR I’m getting a toothache.
- I’ve got a headache.
- I always get a sore throat if I eat or drink something cold.
- My eyes are itchy.
- Don’t pick your nose. It’s a very bad habit.
- I get a runny nose during the winter season.
- I’ve a cold sore on my lips.
- How did you get that cut on your chin?
- I used to get a lot of pimples when I was young.
- I’m thinking of getting my nose pierced.
- I had pimple problems when I was a teenager.
Note the use of articles with the names of illnesses.
The is used before the names of some common illnesses. Examples are: the measles, the flu.
Names of major illnesses are usually used with no articles. Examples are: cancer, diabetes, jaundice etc. We do not usually say the cancer or the diabetes.
The article a/an is used with the names of common aches and pains. Examples are: a toothache, a cold, a headache, an earache, a backache etc.
The body area
Here is a range of phrases you can use to talk about general pains and aches that affect the body area.
- Don’t turn your head too quickly. You might hurt your neck.
- I hurt my neck when I turned my head too quickly.
- I think I should consult a doctor. I’ve been getting chest pain recently.
- I’m asthmatic.
- His asthma gets worse during winter months.
- I don’t like spicy food. If I eat it, I get a stomach ache.
- I’ve got a pot belly. I don’t know how to get rid of the fat on my stomach.
- I’ve an upset stomach.
- My stomach hurts.
- Are you hungry? I can hear your stomach rumble.
- If you want six pack abs, you’ll have to hit the gym every day.
Six pack is a terminology used to describe a flat stomach. Abs is short for abdomen. The phrase washboard abs is also used to refer to a flat stomach.
- She’s got washboard abs.