Ill or sick?

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Pay attention

Post by Pirate » Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:46 am

Hey everyone

Well it's good to see that u are helping each other in English. But plz remember that this is NOT a place for chatting, even in ur own topic(s). You can contact ur friends by private messages, or by emails, etc (look at the contact information).

And u, Gina it's possible to edit ur own posts.

By the way talking about ill and sick, there is a bit difference in the way we use them.
You can say
I'm sick of something/someone.
S/he makes me sick.

'ill' is not often used in these cases. 'Ill' is somehow quite physical.

Actually there's a place for asking English problems and it's the more right place than here.

It's great to see all of you filling the forum. But just take room for English here, okay? :wink:

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Post by Mandy2 » Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:39 pm

I was thinking about the usage of sick/ill also and went ahead to ask a native speaker from Texas.

Here's what he answered:

Here in Texas I think there's no difference however it's my opinion that sick is in much more common use. Ill seems more "polite".


Dear All,
When I hear someone exclaims, "I am sick!", I have the perception that he/she is disgusted, or he/she dislikes something. To say that one is ill, I often hear other expressions, such as "I feel/am/get unwell", or "I am/get/feel under the weather."
Haliman, a non-native speaker.


You are exactly right. I'm sick of this job. I'm sick and tired of
answering your stupid questions. I'm sick of this hot weather.
When it doesn't mean ill we would need more context to give a definition.

I believe Mandy did specify the context to mean medically speaking.
It is used to mean ill. I'm sick and cannot come into work today.
I've been sick all week with the flu.
As far as meaning ill, I'll go with my first response that sick is
more commonly used than ill, at least in Texas. I think in this
context the two words are synonyms.
"I am not feeling well today" and "I'm feeling under the weather
today" would be a feeling of discomfort, not necessarily sick enough to be confined to the bed.
Perhaps sick is used more often because it's a shorter word when spoken than ill which takes longer to pronounce the "L's" than the "K" sound of sick.


Hope this helps.

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