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Vocabulario indispensable para la temporada de catarros

The arrival of the festive season also comes with cold temperatures, increasing the chances of catching a cold or the flu. Today's blog will teach essential vocabulary related to the cold season.

1. Coger o pillar un resfriado

We use this expression to say we've caught a cold.

In context:

  • Creo que he pillado un resfriado

  • No me digas, ¡vaya fastidio!

  • I think I've caught a cold.

  • Don’t say, what a bummer!

2. Estar resfriado o acatarrado

We use this expression when we have a cold. Alternatively, we can say, "Don'testoy constipado". Although it might be deceiving, don't confuse it with the English false friend "constipated", which in Spanish is "estreñido".

  • No puedo ir a la fiesta, estoy resfriado.

  • Vaya, lo siento, mejorate pronto.

  • I can't go to the party; I have a cold.

  • Oh no, I'm sorry; get well soon.

If we want to refer to the flu instead of a common cold, we use the term "gripe" or "gripazo".

  • Creo que estoy cogiendo la gripe.

  • Ah, ¿pero no estabas vacunado?

  • I think I'm coming down with the flu.

  • Oh, weren't you vaccinated?

3. Los síntomas

Let's look at Spanish terms to discuss some of the most common cold symptoms.

Los estornudos, estornudar

  • ¡Estoy desesperada, no paro de estornudar!

  • I'm in despair; I can’t stop sneezing!

La tos, toser

  • Llevo tosiendo toda la noche.

  • ¿Te has tomado el jarabe para la tos?

  • I can't been coughing all night.

  • Did you take cough syrup?

La fiebre, tener fiebre

  • ¿Me pasas el termómetro? Creo que tengo fiebre

  • Would you pass me the thermometer? I think I have a fever.

4. Me duele la garganta

Apart from fever or coughing, when catching a cold, we can also experience pain or aching. To express pain in Spanish, we use the verb doler (to hurt, to ache). This verb is conjugated the same way as the verb gustar, and it's accompanied by the pronouns me, te, le, nos, os, les. We use “Me duele” with nouns in singular: la garganta (the throat), la cabeza (the head), la espalda (the back)… and “Me duelen” with plural nouns like: las rodillas (the knees).

In context:

  • ¿Te duele la garganta?

  • Si… y también me duelen las rodillas.

  • Does your throat hurt?

  • Yes… My knees also hurt.

  • Me duele muchísimo la cabeza.

  • Tomate una aspirina, te sentirás mejor.

  • I have a terrible headache.

  • Have an aspirin; you'll feel better.

5. Los medicamentos, los remedios naturales

We can resort to los medicamentos (medicine) such as paracetamol, ibuprofeno, aspirina, or jarabe para la tos (cough syrup) to fight these symptoms.

  • Buenos días, ¿tiene algo para el dolor de garganta?

  • Si, tenemos ibuprofeno, va muy bien para aliviar el dolor.

  • Good morning. Do you have anything to treat a sore throat?

  • Yes, we have ibuprofen; it works wonders to soothe the pain.

Alternatively, we can rely on natural remedies like hot meals and drinks, such as:

sopa de pollo (chicken soup), estofados (stews), chocolate caliente (hot chocolate) or (tea). Foods like: el jengibre (ginger), el limón (lemon) and la miel (honey) also help strengthen our immune systems against low temperatures.

  • El té de miel y limón es un buen remedio para el dolor de garganta.

  • Honey and lemon tea are excellent remedies for sore throat.

  • ¿Te preparo una taza de chocolate caliente?

  • Si, me vendrá bien para entrar en calor.

  • Fancy a cup of hot chocolate?

  • Yes, it will help me warm up.

6. Abrigarse

Another vital factor to keep in mind is to dress warmly enough. To say this in Spanish, we use the verb "abrigarse", which means "to wrap up warm". For this, we use la ropa de invierno (winter clothes) such as: el abrigo (the coat), los guantes (the gloves), el gorro (the beanie), la bufanda (the scarf), los calcetines (the socks) or las orejeras (the earmuffs). To say what we are wearing, we use the verb llevar.

In context:

  • ¡Abrígate bien antes de salir!

  • Si, llevo abrigo y también bufanda.

  • Wrap up warm before going out!

  • Yes, I'm wearing a coat and also a scarf.

  • En invierno, siempre llevo orejeras.

  • Yo no puedo vivir sin guantes.

  • In winter, I always wear earmuffs.

  • Me, I can't live without gloves.

7. ¡Qué frío!

To comment on the highly freezing temperatures, we can use the expression "hace un frío que pela" in English would translate to something like "it's freezing cold".

  • ¡Hace un frío que pela!

  • Espera, voy a encender la calefacción.

  • It's freezing cold!

  • Wait for a second; I will turn on the heating.

And you? What is essential for you during this season? How do you fight the cold season and stay healthy? Let us know in the comments. ¡Hasta la semana que viene!

- Lea and Queralt.

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