The most common ways to ask about someone’s health are:
- How do you feel (today)?
- How are you feeling?
- Is everything okay?
Some typical responses are:
- I’m fine.
- I feel sick.
- Not so good.
- Not very well.
- I don’t feel well.
- I’m sick.
When you see (or hear) that they are not well, then you can ask:
- What’s the matter?
- What’s wrong?
If the person wants to say what is wrong, they may give the reason they feel that way:
- I have … (+ health condition)
- I’ve got … (+ health condition)
- I have a headache
- I’ve got a sore throat.
The difference between sick and ill
To most people, both sick and ill more or less mean the same thing, that you are not in a healthy condition.
Sick is less formal than ill and usually describes short-term ailments or diseases (like a cold or cough). Sick can also refer to feeling nauseous. In British English, to be sick can mean to vomit.
Ill is often for more serious health problems (like cancer or pneumonia) but can also be used for short-term ones.
Illness (noun) refers to a medical condition. Sickness (noun) refers to how you feel.
The difference between ache and pain
Ache is a continuous or prolonged dull pain in a part of the body. It can often be a throbbing sensation that covers more than one point. You can sometimes try and ignore an ache.
Pain is physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury. It is usually a sharp sensation in a specific part of the body and hurts more than an ache.