How to say you feel ill in English

How to say you feel ill in English

So this week I feel ill!
I’ll be ok – it’s just a bad cold and a chesty cough! I haven’t been to the doctor because generally The British don’t like to disturb the doctor unless they are at death’s door! I’ve taken a couple of paracetamol and I will ‘soldier on’ in true British style 🙂 I also wouldn’t like to bother anyone else with my illness so these are the English phrases I might use if someone asks if I’m ok:

Ooh, you sound poorly.

Oh I’m fine, just a bit under the weather.

Wow, you sound rough!

Oh, it’s just a cough. I’ll live!

Oh, poor you. You sound awful!

You mean my cold? It’s nothing a good night’s sleep won’t fix.

Are you alright?

Yeah yeah, it’s just the sniffles.

Ooh, you should go home and rest.

Oh no. I’ll be fine once the paracetamol kicks in!

These are all typical ‘real English’ responses. If you can, practise these mini-dialogues with a willing partner. Person A (yellow) should be very worried and use a sympathetic tone of voice. Person B (blue) should be ‘brave and uncomplaining’! Then you will sound like a native English speaker!
Of course, if you want to take a day off work (skive or pull a sickie as we say), you would use very different English vocabulary 🙂 I will write a post for you on that soon!

When was the last time you were ill? Are you the type of person to complain or ‘soldier on’? Let me know by writing a sentence in the comment box below 🙂

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Published by

TheEnglishEnglishTeacher

Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

4 thoughts on “How to say you feel ill in English

  1. Hi Nicky
    I was watching your post ” How to say you feel in english” It is really good because
    i was wrong, i though that just it had few expresion to say ill in english.
    What a sorprise for me, for instant:
    Oh, poor you. You sound awful!
    You mean my cold? It’s nothing a good night’s sleep won’t fix.

    Thanks a lot Nicky..I apreciate your marvelous help!

    Someday when i was in the work in shift at night, soddenly I´ve got a cold and i felt not too good, so i went to the doctor, i´ve got a terrible headache and getting worts.
    The doctor gave me a pills and then i becoming feel better.

    I hope you like my experience of to be ill.

    Jimy

    1. I’m so pleased you had a go at writing about your last illness Jimy (I’m going to send you some corrections via email). There are SO many ways to talk about illness in English and I’m glad you could learn a few more from my article 🙂

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