16 Other Ways To Say I’m Sick In English

Learn 16 ways to say ‘I’m sick’ in English. This lesson is perfect for English learners at all levels who want to expand their vocabulary with phrases that are used daily by native speakers.

In this lesson, you’ll learn a variety of expressions to describe being unwell, from having a cold to feeling nauseous. Knowing these phrases is vitally important for effective communication in English, especially in situations where you need to discuss health issues.

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Ways to say sick in English

Other Ways To Say I’m Sick In English

And in the advanced English lesson today, we’re going to look at different ways to say ‘I am sick’ in English. I’ve actually been sick for the last ten days. I’ve got a really bad virus that don’t know what it was, but I’m just about getting over it. But it was really bad. I had to cancel lots of lots of lessons.

So while I was in my sick bed, I was thinking about how many different ways I can tell you guys how to say I am sick in English. So here I put them together in this lesson and I hope you enjoy them and you get to practice them.

I feel crap/shit

Meaning: an informal way to express that you’re not feeling well. It’s not suitable for formal situations.


I feel crap. I don’t know what it is, but I just woke up this morning feeling terrible. I can’t do anything.

After staying up all night working on that project, I feel shit this morning.

I don’t feel so good

Meaning: you’re not sure exactly what’s wrong. It’s a good way to express general discomfort or unease (physical or emotional)


I don’t feel so good. I think I’ll just stay in bed for another couple of hours. Perhaps I just need a bit more rest.

I don’t feel so good, maybe I shouldn’t go to school today.

I’m out of sorts

Meaning: you’re feeling slightly unwell or not like your usual self (being in a bad mood, feeling physically ill, or just being off your normal routine)


I’ve been out of sorts all day, I think I caught a tummy bug.

He’s a little bit out of sorts, he has been for a few days now, really quite unusual.

Ever since her workload increased, she’s been a bit out of sorts, struggling to handle the stress.

I don’t feel the best

Meaning: is a soft way to express that you are unwell without being specific about your symptoms


Thanks for the invitation, but I don’t feel the best today, so I think I’ll have to pass.

Yesterday, I didn’t make it to the gym because I didn’t feel the best.

Other Ways To Say I’m Sick In English

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I am unwell

Meaning: (very formal) a straightforward way to say that you’re sick


I am unwell today, so I won’t be able to come to the office. I’m going to go to the doctor.

I am unwell, so I’ll take the day off. If I don’t feel any better tomorrow, then I’ll go to the doctor.

Johnnie won’t be in school today because he is unwell.

feel under the weather 

Meaning: I’m feeling a bit sick or not quite right


I feel under the weather today, so I might stay in bed and rest.

I can’t put my finger on it, but I just feel under the weather. Perhaps it’s the change of seasons.

I am feeling a bit under the weather. Even just looking at the computer screen is giving me a headache.

I am not 100%

Meaning: a casual way to indicate that you are not feeling well or that you’re slightly unwell


I’m not 100%. I haven’t been for a couple of weeks. Maybe I need some vitamins.

I’m not 100% these days, so I’m thinking a holiday in the sun might help me feel better.

I’m not 100%, but I’m not sick enough to stay home, so I’ll go to the office and maybe leave early.

I feel ghastly

Meaning: you feel very sick or terrible; we use this expression to emphasise that we’re really not feeling well


I’m not going to come in today. I feel ghastly. I ate something yesterday that didn’t agree with me.

I feel ghastly. It must have been something I ate.

Oh my goodness, you look ghastly! How are you feeling? You’re so pale!

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I feel as if a bus hit me

Meaning: (very informal) you’re feeling really bad, almost like you’re physically hurt


She collapsed on the sofa, exhausted, and said she felt as if a bus had hit her.

After catching the flu, I was so weak and achy that I felt as if I had been hit by a bus.

I have come/am coming down with something

Meaning: you start to feel the initial symptoms of an illness, like a cold or flu, and expect it might get worse


I’ve been sneezing all morning; I think I’m coming down with something.

I feel I’m coming down with something. I think it’s one of those summer flu viruses.

She said she was coming down with something and decided to skip the party to rest.

I picked something up

Meaning: an informal way to say that you have casually contracted an illness, like a cold, flu, or a bug


I think I picked something up from the swimming pool at the hotel.

He hasn’t been feeling well for days; he picked something up on his flight back from holidays.

He picked something up in the swimming pool; he must have swallowed some water.

pull a sickie

Meaning: take a day off without really being sick


He always pulls sickies at this time of year because he likes to go away for the weekends.

He is a great guy for pulling sickies, everyone falls for it. He likes his time off.

After a late night out, he decided to pull a sickie to avoid going to work the next morning.

Other Ways To Say I’m Sick In English

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it’s some sort of virus

Meaning: it’s a way to say that you’re sick without specifying the exact cause, a great phrase to cover most situations


It’s some sort of virus; you should rest and stay hydrated.

I think it’s some sort of virus they picked up at school; they’ve both been unwell this week.

It’s some sort of a virus she picked up at the crèche; quite a few kids have been sick lately.

I have morning sickness – I am nauseous

Meaning: describe the nausea and vomiting that often occurs during the early stages of pregnancy

On the other hand, “I am nauseous” is a general statement that can be used by anyone feeling the urge to vomit for any reason, such as illness, food poisoning, or other health issues. It does not imply pregnancy and is more broadly applicable.


She had morning sickness throughout her first trimester, making it difficult for her to start her day early.

I felt nauseous after eating that leftover sushi, so I had to lie down for a while.

I have a raging hangover

Meaning: feeling extremely unwell due to the aftereffects of consuming a large amount of alcohol


I have a raging hangover from last night’s party; I can barely stand the sunlight.

He spent all of Saturday in bed because he had a raging hangover from the night before.

I was throwing my guts up all night

Meaning: an informal way to describe that you were vomiting intensely and frequently


I was throwing my guts up all night after eating that seafood, so I’m really not up for going out today.

She missed the concert because she was throwing her guts up all night; it must have been a stomach bug.

Here are 16 ways to say ‘I’m sick’ in English. Try to practice them. Hopefully, you won’t experience the symptoms but practise talking about situations where you can use these expressions.

If you still don’t understand, come back to me at englishlessonviaskype.com, and I’ll provide further explanations.

So, this is Harry thanking you for watching and listening. See you in the next lesson.

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more information

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

10 CRUCIAL Idioms with Get

Talk about Transport in English

You can always study English advanced level at Learning English with the BBC and British Council Learn English.

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