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A2 Level. How to express a minor illness to a doctor in Spanish.

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

How to express a minor illness to a doctor in Spanish.

The verb "tener" is one of the most important verbs in English. This is usually used to talk about things and possessions that a person has, but also you can describe sensation like "tengo hambre" (I am hungry) or "tengo gripe" (I have a cold). Since this verb can have several uses in Spanish, today we are going to learn about how to talk about illness in Spanish and how to make a doctor’s appointment. ¿Estás listo/a?

We already know that are difference ways to start a conversation in Spanish. After you greet someone, you’ll want to ask how they are or how’s it going like. To find out what kind of mood or condition a friend is in, we ask:

¿Cómo estás? How are you?.

¿Cómo te sientes? How do you feel?,

¿Qué te pasa? What's wrong with you?.

And your friend might say:

- Using the verb estar, specially when they are going to describe his feelings or emotions: Ex.

-Using the verb tener to express things such physical conditions or sensations.


"Tengo hambre", would be translated literally as "to have hunger," although it would normally be understood as "to be hungry."

"Tengo sueño" I am sleepy

But what happen if you don't feel well. Being sick is not something that anyone looks forward to. It's never nice to feel ill and lose days or weeks of time to hiding under your bedcovers. However, knowing how to talk about it will make it easier to express why you’re not looking well. You might even get some sympathy, in the form of chicken soup. Let's see some vocabulary that will help you learn how to talk about illness in Spanish.

How to express a minor illness to a doctor in Spanish.

We can also describe a symptom using the verb tener plus the intransitive verb doler. ¿Qué te duele? What hurts?.

How to express a minor illness to a doctor in Spanish.

How to Make a Doctor’s Appointment

When you’re feeling unwell and you think you need to see a doctor – don’t worry! There is some easy vocabulary you can use to make that phone call easier.

"Hola, estoy llamando para hacer una cita para ver al médico". “Hello, I’m calling to make an appointment to see the doctor.” The secretary or receptionist at the doctor’s office might ask:

-“¿Qué tienes?” or ¿Cuáles son tus síntomas? “What are your symptoms?”.

- "Tengo secreción nasal, tos fuerte y tengo fiebre" "I have a runny nose, a strong cough and I have a fever"

Let's see some common questions and situations in a doctor appointment.

How to express a minor illness to a doctor in Spanish.

After your doctor’s visit, you might get a "receta" prescription for some "medicina" medication.

How to express a minor illness to a doctor in Spanish.

In order to get your prescription filled, you would go to a "farmacia" pharmacy. You might ask your doctor where the nearest pharmacy is.

How to express a minor illness to a doctor in Spanish.

Once you’ve mastered this vocabulary, knowing how to talk about illness in Spanish should be easy! One more thing you might want to say to friends who are feeling “under the weather”…

1. ¡Espero que se mejore pronto!. Hope you feel better soon!

2. Recupérate pronto. Wish you a speedy recovery.

3. ¡Qué te mejores! Get well!

4. Alíviate pronto. Get well soon.

5. Espero que te sientas mejor. I hope you feel better.


Let's practice

Quiz Activity No. 1: Partes del cuerpo

Ready for some practice. Let's do this fun activities. Write your answer in the comments.

Parts of the body in Spanish

Listening and Quiz Activity No. 2: Lucas está enfermo

Watch the following video and response:

¿Quién está de buen humor?

a) Lucas b) Marcelo c) Elena


Free Handout Activity No. 3: Tengo tu Love by Sie7e: Spanish Song.

Activities to Practice the Verb TENER and Comparisons.Free handout for you to practice. Click the blue button below to DOWNLOAD the free handout. Add your name and email and we’ll send it to you! Remember you can contact your tutor with any question have. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet? Please, leave a message if you want we prepare more activities about this topic. Thanks for helping us to improve.

The vern tener in Spanish

¡Hasta la vista!

The Español Latino Team

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