Not feeling well? Here are a few useful expressions:

What's the matter?

I have the flu.

I have a cold*.

Put a warm jacket on otherwise you'll catch a cold.

I can't stop sneezing.

I can't stop coughing.

I have a runny nose.

I am choked.

I have a temperature.

I have a headache*.

I have a sore* throat.

My leg hurts*.

I have a pain in my knee.

*Confusing words:

  • I have a cold : Estoy constipado.
  • I am constipated : Estoy estreñido.

* an ache (noun):

I have:

  • a headache
  • a stomachache
  • earache
  • toothache
  • backache

But no nouns exist for other parts of the body so we use sore (adjective):

  • I have a sore foot.
  • My knee is really sore.

or we use hurt (verb):

  • My feet hurt.
  • My neck hurts.

What's the best cure for
  • a headache?
  • a sore throat?
  • stomachache?
  • a cold?
  • a sore back?
What aches and pains do you usually have?

What's the difference between a disease and an illness? Both translate as enfermedad.

This is a difficult one to explain. Let me try.

A disease is a specific condition or a diagnosable problem with symptoms. However people can have a disease but still feel well.
  • Pope John Paul II suffered from Parkinson's disease.
  • More and more elderly people have Alzheimer's disease.
  • The first symptom of the disease is a high temperature.
  • She caught a strange skin disease while travelling through Africa.
An illness is a state of feeling ill. Nothing specific has been diagnosed.
  • She died peacefully at home after a long illness.
  • She had a week off work because of illness.
  • Mental illness is more common than you would think.
  • If your child shows any sign of illness, take her to a doctor.
I hope that is a bit clearer.