You don’t feel well. Being sick is never fun, it’s definitely not fun when you can’t communicate about your illness in English-speaking country. Learn some some useful illness vocabulary when talking about health in English.
Perhaps you had flu two weeks ago, and you still feel tired all the time. It’s probably a good idea to see your GP. If the illness is serious he will advise you to get a specialist. If you have an operation the specialist will advise you to go to a hospital.
If your teeth need attention, filling, or extracting, or if you need false teeth (dentures), then you go to the dentist.
Older people suffer from indigestion, rheumatism and blood pressure.
Some diseases are infectious or contagious, and a great care must be taken by people who have these illnesses, so they do not pass them on to other people.
You may have toothache, earache, headache, stomachache.
Your doctor may prescribe medication, or want to give you some advice about your lifestyle. Phrases could include “you should”, “you need to“ or “you must“.
Useful Phrases for Talking about Health in English
I’d like to book an appointment to see the doctor.
What time does the surgery open?
I feel ill.
I’ve got a (bad) headache.
I’ve got a pain in my chest.
I’ve got a fever.
I’ve got a cough.
I’ve got toothache.
My arm hurts.
REMEMBER: I’ve got a headache (countable) BUT I’ve got toothache (uncountable).
Talking about Health in English - Visit to the Doctor Vocabulary
General Practitioner (GP) – a family doctor who works in the community
Prescription – an order for medication, signed by your doctor
Flu (influenza) – a highly contagious viral infection
Fever /ˈfiː.vər/ – a condition associated with many illnesses where your body temperature is higher than 38°C (100.4 F)
Surgery – the building where doctors work
Surgeon – operates on sick people
Clinic – a session where patients can see a doctor or nurse
Appointment – an arrangement to see or visit someone at a particular date and time
Bandage – a part of material used to support a part of the body
Contagious /kənˈteɪ.dʒəs/ – can be spread from one person to another
Indigestion /ˌɪn.dɪˈdʒes.tʃən/ – a pain that you get in your stomach when you find it difficult to digest food
Concussion /kənˈkʌʃ.ən/ – an injury to the brain caused by a blow to your head. It is usually not long-lasting.
Nausea /ˈnɔː.zi.ə/- the feeling that you are going to vomit
Medication – a set of medicines used to treat an illness
Medicine – a substance, for example cough syrop, ointment, eye drops, tablets, injections, that is used to treat a particular illness (My bottle of medicine NOT My bottle of medication.)
Painkiller – a medicine for relieving pain
To give up – to stop doing/having smth
To put on – to place something on top of something else
Health Vocabulary Infographic
Conversations between Doctor and Patient in English
1. David goes to his doctor with a bad cough.
DAVID: I can’t get rid of this cough. I’ve had it for three weeks.
DOCTOR: Take some cough syrup. You should also try to give up smoking.
2. John has hurt his foot playing football.
JOHN: My foot hurts when I run. I fell over playing football last week.
DOCTOR: First try putting on a bandage, then rest your leg for a few days.
3. Clare has been suffering from headaches at work.
CLARE: I’ve had a bad headache for three days.
DOCTOR: You should try taking some painkillers.
4. Cathy has bad toothache, and can’t sleep at night. What advice would you give her?