Lesson 2: Health Problems

Read the diagram below out loud with your tutor. Then tell your tutor about the last time you experienced one of these health problems.Screenshot 2017-01-05 11.37.37.png


Practice by reading the dialogue with your tutor. After you are done, switch roles and do it again!

  • K: Dorothy, I think I broke my leg! Can you take me to the San Francisco Regional Hospital?
  • D: Of course! Are you in a lot of pain?
  • K: Yes, but I took some pain medication.
  • D: Stay here until I return with my car. I’m sure the team of doctors at the hospital will take good care of you.


Read the new skills out loud with your tutor. Then practice role-playing a conversation you might have with your friend about your last illness.

How to ask someone if they are sick or don’t feel well?

  • How do you feel?
  • How are you feeling?
  • Is everything ok?
  • You don’t look well. Are you ok?

Common negative responses:

  • I’m not well.
  • I’m sick.
  • I don’t feel so good.
  • I don’t feel well.
  • I’m a little under the weather. (idiom)

Common positive responses:

  • I’m fine.
  • I’m well.
  • I’m ok.

Common responses when you hear someone is sick:

  • What’s the matter?
  • What’s wrong?
  • What’s the problem?

To express your illness:

  • I have a cold.
  • I got a headache.
  • My stomach hurts.
  • I’ve got a broken leg.

(Note: Notice we usually use the verbs “have” and “got” to express illness.)

Using the different types of nouns. 

Read the diagram below out loud with your tutor. See if you can come up with your own example for each type as you go over them.

Screenshot 2017-01-05 12.01.03.png


  • Common: Kevin has to go to the hospital.
  • Proper: Kevin has to go to the San Francisco Regional Hospital.
  • Countable: Kevin has a broken leg. Kevin has two broken legs.
  • Uncountable: I can see the sadness on Kevin’s face.
  • Concrete: Kevin can’t put his sock on his foot because it’s broken.
  • Abstract: The sadness of his death is overwhelming.
  • Compound: Kevin will use his credit card to pay the hospital bill.
  • Collective: The team of doctors will make Kevin better.

Note: some nouns can be multiple types. For example, sadness and happiness can be uncountable or abstract.


Read the following dialogue and fill in the blanks with the proper words or phrases about health problems.

  • K: Hi Dorothy, You don’t look well today. Is everything ok?
  • D: I don’t (1) _______________.
  • K: I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. (2) _________________________?
  • D: I started to feel sick last night. I have (3) ____________________.


Identify the specified noun in each sentence.

  • Dorothy was out in the sun too long today. Now she has a sunburn.

Proper noun: Dorothy                 Compound noun: sunburn

  • Relaxation helps you feel better when you are sick.

Uncountable: (4) ____________ Abstract: (5) _____________

  • The boy is going to the dentist because he has a toothache.

Common: (6) ______________ Compound: (7) ____________

  • Take one tablespoon of cough syrup every six hours.

Compound: (8) ____________ Countable: (9) _____________

  • Dr. Smith said you have a broken nose.

Proper: (10) _____________ Concrete: (11) ______________


Identify the health problem. Write a sentence using I have or I got.

  • Your ear hurts and you have trouble hearing. I have an earache.
  • You fell off your bike and have a lot of pain in your wrist. You go to the hospital and the doctor puts a cast on your hand and wrist. ____________________________________.
  • You ate some bad food for breakfast and you have a lot of pain in your stomach.   _________________________________________.
  • Your body is very hot, especially your forehead. _______________________________________________.
  • You were walking in a field of tall grass and weeds. Later your skin becomes red and itches. _________________________________________________.


Discussion questions

  • What is the worst illness or injury you’ve had? Describe the symptoms to your tutor.
  • Do you have any home remedies for a cold? If so, describe them.
  • Have you ever broken a bone? If so, what happened?


(Image source: http://www.vocabulary.cl/english/health-problems.htm)



Answer Key:

(1) feel so good

(2) What’s the matter?

(3) a cold

(4) Relaxation

(5) sick

(6) boy / dentist

(7) toothache

(8) tablespoon

(9) hours

(10) Dr. Smith

(11) nose

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