Intermediate series 2

Beginners 4: Illnesses

Rob and Liz are enfermos (ill)! They talk (moan) about their illnesses, and what they’re going to do about it. In episode 4 you’ll learn:
  • Different ways of saying “I have a cold”
  • How to say you have a head ache, stomach ache, back ache, or anything-ache!
  • How to cure your cold with vitamins, hot drinks, and staying at home (no secret there…)
Lis Salinas

Lis Salinas







Hola a todos, hello everyone, y bienvenidos a Spanish Obsessed. Welcome to Spanish Obsessed. This is our latest beginners podcast, y hoy, como siempre, me acompaña Lis, and today as always, I’m accompanied by Lis, hola Lis, ¿cómo estás?
Hola Rob, hola a todos. Muy bien. Yo estoy muy bien, ¿y tú? [Hi Rob, hi everyone. Very good. I’m very good, and you?]
Yo también estoy muy bien, gracias. y ¿de qué vamos a hablar hoy? [I’m also very good, thanks. And what are we going to talk about today?] And what are we going to talk about today?
Hoy vamos a hablar acerca de las enfermedades. [Today we’re going to talk about illnesses]
Yes today we’re going to talk about illnesses. So, we’re going to start by teaching you a few phrases to describe various kinds of problems or illnesses you might have, then we’re going to have a little conversation using those phrases, which you’ll be able to follow along, and finally we’re going to teach you a few other things which might be wrong. Things like hangovers, or fever, sickness, all of these kinds of things. Ok, but to start with, Lis, how do you say “I’m ill”?
Estoy enferma. Estoy enferma [I’m ill]
Yes, estoy enferma. And because Lis is a girl, she says “a”, enferma, but a man like me, says estoy enfermo. So a, which is femenine, for a girl, and o, which is masculine, for a man or a boy. Estoy enfermo. What’s another way of saying “I’m ill”?
Estoy constipado . [I’m ill]
And if you’re a girl?
Estoy constipada [I’m ill]
Exactly, so it’s the same thing again. Constipada for a girl, constipado for a boy. And this is often a false friend, because constipado sounds like something very similar in English, but it doesn’t mean the same thing at all, it just means “I am ill”, “I have a cold”.
Cold, exactly, cold
Yeah, I have a cold. Or, what’s another way if it’s a little bit more serious, what can you say?
Tengo gripa. When you have a cold. Tengo gripa [I have flue]
Yeah, when you have a cold or a flu, a bit more nasty, you say tengo gripa. What’s another way of saying estoy enferma, if you want to make it sound a little bit more cute, for example?
You say estoy enfermita. Estoy enfermita
Yeah. Estoy enfermita, or o, estoy enfermito. It’s when you’re not too ill but you just want to make the other person feel sorry for you, you say estoy enfermito, like “oh I’m a little bit ill”.
Because you want somebody else to spoil you
Yes, exactly. So it means you’re not seriously ill, but you’re just under the weather, I suppose. Ok, so we’re going to have a little conversation, and see if you can follow along. Hola Lis, ¿cómo estás? [Hi Lis, how are you?]
Hola Rob, estoy enfermita [Hi Rob, I’m a little ill]
Pero ¿qué pasa? [But why?]
Tengo gripa [I have flu]
Pobrecita [Poor you]
Sí, y estoy constipada. [And I’m ill]
Tienes gripa y estás constipada. Estás muy enfermita. [You have the flu and you’re ill. You’re very ill]
Sí, además me duele la cabeza [Yes, and also my head hurts]
Te duele la cabeza [Your head hurts]
Sí [Yes]
Pobrecita. [Poor you] So, we added a couple more phrases in there, which hopefully you might have been able to guess what they mean, first of all, Lis said me duele la cabeza. What does that mean?
You feel painful… Somewhere in your body, me duele
Yes, so me duele means “it hurts”. Me duele algo, something’s hurting me. So me duele.
So you can say me duele la cabeza [My head hurts]. Me duele el estómago[My stomach hurts]. Me duele la espalda [My back hurts]. Different parts of your body.
Yeah, so la cabeza, my head, me duele la cabeza, I have a headache, me duele el estómago, I have a stomach ache, or me duele la espalda, I have a back ache. So cabeza, estómago, y espalda. There’s a few other ways of talking about how you feel bad as well, we’ve got a few more phrases to teach you, maybe you’re not ill, but maybe you don’t feel very good anyway, and we’ve got a few more phrases to cover that, so what’s the first one Lis?
No me siento bien [I don’t feel good]
No me siento bien. And what does that mean?
I don’t feel very good
Yeah, I don’t feel very well. No me siento bien. No me siento bien. What else have we got?
Tengo mareo [I feel dizzy]
Tengo mareo. Do you know what that means?
I don’t remember!
Lis is learning as well!
Almost, yeah, I feel dizzy. Tengo mareo, I feel dizzy. What’s the next one?
Tengo flojera. Tengo flojera. [I feel weak] But it doesn’t mean [correction: It does mean…] when you don’t want to do anything, you are very lazy, or you want to stay in bed all day, and you don’t feel very well. It isn’t a health problem, it’s just you feel lazy, or depressed, or something like that
No energy. Tengo flojera. And is that the same for boys and girls, you don’t say tengo flojero if you’re a boy?
No, so everyone tengo flojera
It’s a noun, and it’s feminine.
Ok, what’s the next one?
Tengo fiebre. Tengo fiebre [I have a fever]
Tengo fiebre. What does that mean?
When your temperature is quite high.
Yeah, so when you have a high temperature, fiebre is a fever, so tengo fiebre, I have a fever . And the last one.
Tengo guayabo. O, tengo resaca [I have a hangover]
So two alternatives. Tengo guayabo o tengo resaca. One, tengo guayabo, is used in South America, and tengo resaca is used in Spain. Do you know what it means, Lis?
No, I don’t know, what is that?
I think you do…
Are you asking me?
As Lis…
No, you have more experience than me.
So as Lis should know, it means a hangover. ¿Tienes resaca, Lis? [Do you have a hangover, Lis?]
¿Tienes guayabo? [Do you have a hangover?]
No, no tengo resaca, pero tengo gripa [No, I don’t have a hangover, but I’ve got a cold]
Ay, la pobrecita. Poor girl, pobrecita.
Estoy enfermita [I’m a little ill]
And it’s true as well. We’re actually both ill at the moment, so we’re going to have one more conversation, which is completely true, and we’re going to use a few more of these phrases, I hope you can follow along. Hola Lis, ¿cómo estás? [Hi Lis, how are you?]
Hola Rob. No muy bien. [Hi Rob, not very good.]
¿Por qué? [Why?]
Tengo gripa. [I have flu]
¿No te sientes bien? [Don’t you feel well?]
No, me duele la cabeza, y tengo fiebre. [No, my head hurts, and I have a fever]
Te duele la cabeza, y tienes fiebre. Pobrecita. Estás constipada, yo creo. [Your head hurts, and you have a fever. Poor girl. You’re ill, I think]
Sí. Toda mi nariz está constipada. Y tú Rob, ¿cómo te sientes? [Yes, my nose is blocked. And you Rob, how do you feel?]
Me siento un poco mal, no me siento bien. Creo que también estoy un poco constipado, estoy enfermito. Tengo flojera, tengo un poco de mareo, y me duele la cabeza. Estoy un poco mal. Y es verdad. [I feel a little bad, I don’t feel good. I think I’m also a little ill. I feel weak, I’m a little dizzy, and my head hurts. I’m a little bad. And that’s true.] That´s completely true. ¿Qué vamos a hacer? What are we going to do?
Tenemos que tomar algo caliente [We have to drink something hot]
Tenemos que tomar algo caliente. So, we have to, tenemos que, drink something hot, tomar algo caliente.
Y tenemos que tomar vitamina c. [And we have to take vitamin C]
Y tenemos que, we have to, tomar, take, vitamina c, vitamin c. Tenemos que tomar vitamina c.
Easy. Y también debemos estar en la casita. [And we should also be at home]
Y también debemos estar en la casita. And also, debemos, we should, estar, be, en la casita, at home. I agree with that completely. Bueno Lis, yo espero que te sientas mejor, I hope you get better.
Tú también [You too]
Thank you very much, muchas gracias. And, we’ll see all of our listeners at the next podcast. Hasta luego


Estoy enferma/oI’m ill (masculine/feminine)
Estoy constipada/oI have a cold
Tengo gripaI have flu
Me duele…… hurts
La cabezaHead
El estómagoStomach
La espaldaBack
No me siento bienI don’t feel good
Tengo mareoI’m dizzy
Tengo flojeraI’m weak/lazy/feeble
Tengo fiebreI have a fever
Tengo guayaboI have a hangover (Colombia)
Tengo resacaI have a hangover (Spain)
Pobrecita/oPoor girl/boy