Speaking about illness

Words and expressions about being sick

· Vocabulary

Learn to describe how your body feels

The world is currently undergoing a pandemic and many countries have called for caution. This has been expressed differently in different countries but basically we've been advised to stay at home, to wash our hands frequently and use hand sanitisers as often as possible, to cough into a Kleenex and dispose of it correctly, or to cough into the elbow, to keep a distance of two metres with other people, and to wear a mask if we have the symptoms of Covid-19. This is all serious and life-saving advice.

Here are ten words to learn:

  1. To undergo something = to experience something necessary or unpleasant.
    "At menopause, women's bodies undergo a lot of changes."
  2. Currently = at the present moment.
    "I'm currently unable to go to work, so I'm having remote lessons with my students."
  3. Hand sanitiser = a liquid or gel generally used to decrease infectious agents on the hands.
    "A vital ingredient for hand sanitisers and alcohol
    towelettes is in short supply in Europe."
     (NB: a towelette is also known as a wipe)
  4. To cough = to expel air through the breathing passages to rid them of fluids, irritants, foreign particles.
    "I haven't stopped coughing
    since last night."
  5. Elbow = the part in the middle of the arm where it bends.
    "My elbow is still 
    stiff after my fall."
  6. The sick = people who are ill.
    "Countries need to take care of the sick as well those who are in good
  7. Acute disease = an illness that doesn't last long, like the common cold.
    "Acute diseases are the opposite of chronic diseases."
  8. To sneeze = to release air from the lungs through the mouth and nose in a convulsive way.
    "Pepper makes him sneeze."
  9. Runny: a runny nose produces more mucus than usual, probably because of illness.
    "Symptoms include red eyes, itchiness, and runny nose, and eczema."
  10. Airborne = an airborne disease is a disease that is transmitted by pathogens in the air.
    "Many common infections, like the
    flu, are by airborne transmission." 

And here are five expressions:

  1. To be or feel under the weather = to be unwell, to be sick.
    "I can't come to the office today. I'm a bit under the weather."
  2. To be as fit as a fiddle = to be healthy and physically in shape.
    "When I'm 80 I'd like to be as fit as a fiddle. That's why I continue to exercise."
  3. To be back on one's feet = to be physically healthy again.
    "Jonas was quite ill last week, but he's back on his feet now."
  4. To be on the mend = to be getting better after an illness or injury.
    "I fractured my
    shin last month but I feel I'm on the mend now."

  5. To ring in sick = to call your office to say you won't come to work because you're sick.
    "I drank too much last night, I think I'm going to ring in sick this morning."


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(This newsletter was bidouillé par Ret)

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