English Lesson: Be Sick Vs. Have a cold

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I’m sick. I caught a cold yesterday. I think it was because I slept with the window open. I have a runny nose and a cough. Whenever I get sick, I drink a lot of tea and try to take it easy. Last winter a few of my friends came down with the flu. If that happens you need to go to the doctor and get medicine. I don’t like taking medicine because it makes me sleepy.

Today let’s look at the vocabulary and expressions for talking about the times we don’t feel well. You need to be careful of the verbs you use:

Sick is an adjective and we usually use sick with the be verb:

  • I am sick. Not, I have sick.
  • John is sick today so he is not going to school.
  • I was sick all weekend, but I am feeling better now

Note you can also say, “I got sick, ”  “I became sick,” “I feel sick,” but not “I have sick.”

Cold is an adjective, but cold is used as a noun to mean sickness. We usually use cold with the verb have:

  • I have a cold.
  • John had a cold last week so he didn’t go to school.
  • I had a cold all weekend, but I am feeling better now.

So, you can say, “I am sick” or “I have a cold.” We also use the idiom, “catch a cold” which means to “become sick.”  

  • I caught a cold.
  • John caught a cold last week so he didn’t go to school.
  • I caught a cold last weekend, but I am feeling better now.

We also use “have” to talk about medical conditions and symptoms:

  • I have a runny nose, I have a headache, I have a sore throat.
  • Jack has the flu. (influenza)

About medicine, in English, we use take for every kind of medicine, pills, tablets, and liquids.

  • Jenny took aspirin for her headache.
  • I take vitamins every morning.
  • The doctor told me to take two tablespoons of this cough medicine twice a day.

I hope you stay healthy and don’t need to use this language, but just in case, I hope you find it helpful. Thanks for studying today.