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In Sickness and in Health... in Spanish!

Like in English, wedding vows in Spanish mention loving a person en la salud y en la enfermedad (literally "in health and in sickness"), both of which it would behoove us to learn to converse about. 

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Asking Someone How They Feel

In order to ask someone how he or she feels, you might use the verb sentirse (to feel). Let's take a look:

 

¿Cómo te sientes, mi amor?

How are you feeling, my love?

Caption 18, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 3 - Part 6

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While this is the version with(the informal "you"), the one with usted (the formal "you") would be: ¿Cómo se siente? Some different ways of asking how someone is/how they are feeling with both tú and usted include:

 

¿Cómo te encuentras/se encuentra? (How are you feeling?/How do you feel?)

 

¿Cómo estás/está? (How are you?)

 

Conveying How You Feel

If you feel "fine" or "good" or "well," you might answer with Estoy bien (I'm well/fine), Me siento bien (I feel well/fine), or Me encuentro bien (I feel/am well/fine). But, what if you don't feel well? You might start with the negative versions of these utterances, such as No estoy bien (I'm not well), etc. Let's take a look:

 

porque no me encuentro bien

because I don't feel well.

Caption 10, Ariana Cita médica

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No me siento muy bienestoy un poco enferma

I'm not feeling too wellI'm a bit sick.

Caption 14, Disputas La Extraña Dama - Part 12

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Notice that the word for "sick" is enfermo/a. An alternative way to say you're sick in some countries is: Estoy malo/a (literally "I'm bad").

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¿Qué te pasa?

If someone says they aren't feeling well, you might ask that person: ¿Qué te pasa (a ti)? or ¿Qué le pasa (a usted )? (which might be translated as "What's wrong (with you)?" or "What's going on (with you)?) or the similar-meaning ¿Qué tiene(s)? (literally "What do you have?"). 

 

One way to answer this question might be to say what "hurts" (you), which is expressed with the verb doler (to hurt) plus an indirect object pronoun. Note that this verb falls into the category of verbs like gustar (to like), where there is a reversal in the traditional roles of the subject and object. Let's see a couple of examples:

 

Me duele la garganta,

My throat hurts,

Caption 11, Ariana Cita médica

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y ahora me duele mucho la cabeza.

and now my head hurts a lot.

Caption 31, Clara explica El cuerpo

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Another way to talk about pain in your head or some other body part (if you need to review the parts of the body in Spanish, check out this lesson on Body Parts in Spanish from Head to Toe or the video Clara explica- El cuerpowould be with the noun el dolor (the ache/pain), as in the following caption:

 

y otro tipo de dolor de cabeza que es el que explicábamos como migraña,

and another kind of headache which is the one that we were explaining as a migraine,

Caption 16, Los médicos explican Las migrañas

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And, if you want to talk about injuring those body parts in a more specific way, the following reflexive verbs might come in handy:

 

lastimarse: to hurt get hurt/injured or  hurt/ injure oneself

romperse: to break 

torcerse: to twist/sprain 

esguinzarse: to sprain

hacerse un esguince: to sprain

lesionarse: to get wounded/injured

 

Let's take a look at some examples in context:

 

Es... también me lastimé una rodilla, este... desgraciadamente. 

The thing is that I also hurt my knee, um... unfortunately.

Captions 29-30, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Manuel Orozco Sánchez - Part 1

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y me caí y me rompí la pierna.

and I fell and broke my leg.

Caption 19, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 16

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Las enfermedades

Although the noun la enfermedad can mean "disease" in the sense of a more serious issue, it can also refer to less serious maladies. Let's take a look at the Spanish names for a few of these:

 

La tos puede ser el resultado de un resfriado, una gripe,

The cough could be the result of a cold, a flu,

Caption 10, Cita médica La cita médica de Cleer - Part 2

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Although one way to say you "have a cold" is Estoy resfriado, the verb tener is typically used to say you "have" such sicknesses, as in the following captions: 

 

Tengo un resfriado.

I have a cold.

Caption 24, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 2: Sam va de compras - Part 1

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Tengo fiebre.

I have a fever.

Caption 12, Raquel Visitar al Médico

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cuando te duele la cabeza, tenés unas náuseas que te da asco todo.

when your head hurts, you have nausea that makes everything disgusting to you.

Caption 73, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 5

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Additional things that you might "have" would be vómitos (vomiting), mareos (dizziness), or diarrea (diarrhea).

 

Sentirse mejor (Feeling better)

In order to help you sentirte mejor (feel better), the doctor might prescribe you some medicine. The verb for "to prescribe" is recetar, while the noun la receta means "the prescription" (it also means "recipe"). 

 

De mi parte, le voy a recetar Complejo B

As for me, I'm going to prescribe to you Complex B

Caption 77, Los médicos explican Diagnóstico: nervios y estrés

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Now, let's look at a few different ways to talk about "medicine":

 

te tomás tu remedio y te espero abajo.

take your medicine and I'll wait for you downstairs.

Caption 44, Muñeca Brava 48 - Soluciones - Part 1

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La medicina puede ayudar, puede colaborar,

Medicine can help, can contribute,

Caption 51, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 9

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Adrián, deberías tomar las pastillas que te di. 

Adrian, you should take the pills that I gave you.

Caption 40, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y condicional

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También le recetaré un jarabe.

I will also prescribe you a syrup.

Caption 26, Cita médica La cita médica de Cleer - Part 2

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However, the best medicine of all might be good old-fashioned rest:

 

Adicional, lo que yo le voy a recomendar es a descansar.

Additionally, what I am going to recommend to you is to rest.

Caption 73, Los médicos explican Diagnóstico: nervios y estrés

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We hope that this lesson has provided a good introduction to talking about how you feel, some various ailments, and some remedies for them, and we urge you to check out our supplemental materials such as the videos Visitar al médico (Visiting the Doctor) and La cita médica de Cleer (Cleer's Medical Appointment) as well as our series Los médicos explican (The Doctors Explain). And don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

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