Health Problems

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.

What’s the weather like?

At each change of the season, people notice that, feel and talk even more about the weather. They commonly ask about it by saying:

  • How’s the weather?
  • What’s the weather like?
  • What’s it like outside? (What’s the weather like outside?)
  • What’s the temperature?
  • What’s the weather forecast?
  • What’s the forecast for tomorrow?

We usually use IT IS when we talk about the weather. We use:

It is + adjective or It is + verb-ing

For example:

  • It is rainy.
  • It is raining.

What is the difference?

It is + adjective = A description of the weather

  • It is rainy …. it is describing the weather. How is the weather? It is rainy.

It is + verb-ing = This type of weather is happening now.

  • It is raining …. What is happening now? It is raining.

Let’s look at more examples of these.

It is + adjective

It is + adjective  = A description of the weather

  • It is sunny.
  • It is cloudy.
  • It is windy.
  • It is foggy.

Notice how a lot of weather adjectives end in Y: sunny, cloudy, windy, foggy.

But adjectives to describe temperature don’t normally end in Y:

  • It is hot.
  • It is warm.
  • It is cool.
  • It is cold.

It is + a + adjective + day

Now let’s look at this again… It is hot.

We can give a little more information by using:
It is + a + adjective + day
Or instead of the word day, you can specify the part of the day like morning, afternoon, night, etc.

  • So, It is hot … becomes …
  • It is a hot day.

Another example:

  • It is cold … becomes …
  • it is a cold morning. (Here I specify the part of the day)

Now let’s look at using the verb-ing to describe the weather.

It is + verb-ing

Remember, this describes the type of weather happening now.

  • It is raining.
  • It is snowing.
  • It is hailing.

These three actions are happening now.

IT IS in different tenses

You can also use it is in different tenses.
For example the past tense, perfect tense, present tense, future tense, etc.

  • It was sunny yesterday. (past tense)
  • It has been sunny all week. (perfect tense)
  • It is sunny today. (present tense)
  • It will be sunny tomorrow. (future tense)

Question for you

What is the weather like where you are right now?

Especially vs specially

A Diferença entre Especially e Specially - Adir Ferreira Idiomas

Both especially and specially are adverbs. 

Especially means ‘in particular’, ‘particularly’, or ‘most of all’. We use especially to show that what you are saying applies more to one thing or situation than to others.

  • I like food, but I especially like sandwiches.
  • He’s often a little late, but he was especially late today.
  • She looked especially beautiful that night.
  • I like all of my friends, especially Mark.
  • All of the rooms are dirty, especially the bathroom.
  • Our baby cries a lot, especially when he is hungry.
  • Dave and Mark like football. Dave, especially, watches lots of matches on TV.
  • Mark: Do you want to live abroad? Jane: Yes, I would especially like to live in France.

When especially relates to the subject of a sentence, you put it immediately after the subject.

  • Young babies, especially, are vulnerable to colds.

You can also use especially in front of an adjective to emphasize a characteristic or quality.

  • I found her laugh especially annoying.

We use specially to say that something is done or made for a particular purpose.

  • This sandwich was specially made.
  • They had a chair specially designed for her size.
  • The animals are specially trained to locate the mushrooms.
  • I bought a bag specially for my computer.
  • The suit was specially made for me.
  • I went to New York specially to see the Statue of Liberty.

We can use both, especially and specially, when we refer to a ‘special purpose,’ or ‘specifically.’

  • I bought this milk especially / specially for you. 
  • The speech was written especially / specially for the occasion. 

Practice doing the mini-test at the end of the page.

Difference between Miss and Lose

The verbs MISS and LOSE have several different meanings in English and they can be easily confused.

When to Use MISS

We use MISS in these cases:

  1. to not attend an event or something
  • I missed your birthday. 
  • Alan, you missed a great concert last night.
  • You missed class on Friday.

2. to arrive too late to get on a bus, train, or plane

  • John missed the train this morning.

3. to not see or hear something

  • The goalkeeper missed the ball.
  • Sorry, I missed that. Could you repeat it please?

4. to feel sad about someone or something that you have stopped seeing or having

  • My sister moved to Vietnam last year. I really miss her!
  • I miss my girlfriend. She’s on holiday with her family.

IMPORTANT: if you are going to use a verb after the verb MISS, this verb must be in the gerund

  • I miss going out with my friends.

When to Use LOSE

We use LOSE in these cases:

1. can’t find something or something’s gone

  • I lost my dog. Please help me to find him.

2. sports games

  • My favorite football team lost 5-1 in the semifinal.

3. someone is gone from your life

  • I lost my Grandmother last year.
  • I’ve lost my girlfriend. We had a messy break up and I don’t think I’ll ever see her again.
  • She lost her husband during the war.


  • miss a chance/opportunity
  • lose a chance/opportunity
  • miss the point
  • lose time/money
  • lose confidence/interest/hope etc
  • lose weight/height/speed etc
  • lose your sight/hearing/voice/balance etc
  • lose sight of something
  • lose track of something/somebody

PRACTICE: Choose between the proper form of lose or miss.

a. The lady looking after the property was very helpful when we got lost/missed on the way back.

b. It is possible to lose/miss weight fast without dieting.

c. My pen is losing/missing from my desk! Who’s had it?

d. When Sylvia noticed her credit card was losing/missing, she called her credit card provider and cancelled it.

e. My apartment is only a block from the office, so I don’t lose/miss time commuting to work.

f. I lost/missed quite a lot of money on the stock exchange last year.

g. My daughter lives in Paris. I lose/miss her a lot.

h. I’ve just lost/missed the fast train to London.

i. Can you say that again, please. I lost/missed the thread of the conversation.

j. You’ve lost/missed the point. I don’t care about the money

a. lost; b. lose; c. missing; d. missing; e. lose; f. lost; g. miss; h. lost; i. missed; j. missed

Do you have a 2021 gratitude list?

The end of the year is a great time to look ahead and draw up (make/put together)a plan for what to do next. But first, let’s go back to what happened this year.

What are you most grateful for in 2021?

How did this person/experience/thing impact your life?

What are the other things you’re grateful for in 2021?

Gratitude benefits us on many levels. It’s good for emotional balance and positively affects our personality

It also helps us appreciate the things we have, do, and are in our lives, giving us the chance to feel good about them rather than focusing on the feeling that keeps telling us we need to have, do and be more.

Cultivating gratitude increases well-being, happiness, energy, optimism, and empathy.

This is what makes it onto my 2021 grateful list:

  • Being alive: my family and I, and all the people I care for;
  • My daughter: so proud of her! She’s facing challenges, in a foreign country, all by herself, and beautifully achieving her full potential;
  • My dear students, former and current ones. Each one is unique, and I’m grateful for the chance to help them with their goals;
  • Every person or being who made me smile, who offered me help, who taught me something, who showed me a better way to be or to do something;
  • Food and shelter;
  • My effort to set the time to make progress in my studies, to think, to self-reflect;
  • New challenges and accomplishments, although simple for others;
  • Making the most out of good and bad experiences;
  • Finding joy in the most simple, tiniest details and this world’s natural beauty;
  • What has gone and what is yet to come.

This video, A Good Day, was recorded fourteen years ago and watched over 1 million times. It features Brother David, a highly-respected Benedictine monk, author, and spiritual leader, and is a blessing to all those with “eyes to see and ears to hear.” Look, listen, and feel inspired by this powerful message on grateful living

And if you want more, Brother David says that the one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. Below is an inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful. 

It is a listening and reading practice if you work on the transcript. You can find it in English and Portuguese if you need it. Look up the words you don’t know.