A passage from a BLCU textbook in which a university student laments about catching a cold. This essay focuses on mostly illness-centric beginner language, such as 感冒 gǎn mào, meaning “to have a cold”, and 打针 dǎ zhēn, meaning “to get an IV drip or shot”.

Lest it seems a little dramatic to you that the writer would go to the hospital over a 24-hour cold, the Chinese typically don’t use private clinics (except in the case of accupuncture and massage), and commonly go to the hospital for almost every health-related issue, including colds and small fevers.

Of special interest is the phrase “还开了一些药”, or “and also prescribed me some medicine”. Literally, it says, “Also opened a bit of medicine”. But the word 开 kāi, which usually means “open”, is also the verb used to describe a doctor writing a perscription. This tells us that the doctor didn’t give (给gěi) the student any medicine himself, but perscribed it instead.

Interesting Vocabulary

发烧 – fā shāo – Have a fever
咳嗽 – ké sou – Cough
同学 – tóng xué – Classmates
寂寞 – jì mò – Lonely
不舒服 – bù shū fu – Feel unwell, uncomfortable
检查 – jiǎn chá – Check, examine
果然 – guǒ rán – Sure enough

我病了。 头疼,发烧,嗓子也疼,不想吃东西,晚上咳嗽的很厉害。 上午同学们都去上课了,我一个人在宿舍里,感到很寂寞。 寂寞了就容易想家。 我家里人很多,有哥哥,姐姐,还有一个弟弟。 在家的时候,我们常一起玩儿。 现在,我在北京学习汉语,寂寞的时候就常常想他们。

因为不舒服,所以我今天起得很晚。 起了床就去医院了。 大夫给我检查了一下儿,说我感冒了。 给我打了一针,还开了一些药。 他说,吃了药病就好了。

老师和同学们知道我病了,都来看我。 林老师听说我不想吃东西,还做了一碗面条给我吃。 吃了面条,身上出了很多汗,老师说,出了汗可能不发烧了。

下午,果然不发烧了,喜庆也好了。 我用 Email 个我姐姐发了一封信。 我说,我在这儿生活得很好,我有很好的老师,还有很多好同学,好朋友,和他们在一起,我感到很愉快。


I’m sick. My head hurts, I have a fever, my throat also hurts, I don’t want to eat anything, and at night I have a serious cough. In the morning my classmates all went to class, and I was the only one left in the dormitory. I feel very lonely. When you’re lonely, it’s easy to miss home. I have a lot of family members – an older brother, older sister, and also a younger brother. When I’m at home, we often play together. Right now, I’m in Beijing studying Chinese, and when I’m lonely I miss them.

Because I don’t feel well, I got up late today. When I got up, I went to the hospital. The doctor gave me a quick checkup and said I have a cold. He gave me one shot [also: IV drip], and also prescribed some medicine. He said, take the medicine and you’ll get better.

My teacher and classmates know I’m sick, so they all came to see me. Teacher Lin heard that I didn’t want to eat anything, so she made me a bowl of noodles. After I ate the noodles, I began to pour sweat. Teacher said, if you sweat, maybe your fever will go away.

In the afternoon, sure enough my fever was gone, and I was in a good mood. I emailed my older sister. I said, I have a very good life here, I have a good teacher and good classmates and good friends, and all together they make me very happy.

45 comments to "Feeling Sick"

  1. 谢谢你们

  2. “我用 Email 个哦姐姐发了一封信”

    你好!I don’t understand what “哦” means here. Appreciate the brief explanation. 謝謝

  3. Reply Joan Gozalez says: August 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Excellent work! I am a true beginner but I still find this blog very helpful. Ni na3 guo2 ren ma?

  4. Thanks, I really appreciate this site. I am also a beginner.

  5. The sentence with “我用email。。。"should be something like 我给我姐姐发了一个电子邮件。I think haha I’m not fluent so I’m not too sure.

    • That’s another way to say it, but Chinese also sometimes write “email” using the English characters as we do.

  6. 我觉得你的website是很漂亮。 我觉得maybe你会add to your website by adding a listening portion or a way for students like yourself and practice orally about the stories they read by asking them questions. i found that as a student practice to speak chinese helps to understand it in a new way. If you have any questions or anything don’t be afraid to ask.


    ~ 番悠兰

    • Wish I could! Sadly, no one’s paying me to do this, and these posts take a big chunk of my free time as is. A listening portion would take a few hours per post, at least. But if that free time ever materializes, I’ll certainly do it.

  7. 谢谢你了! 我可以准备我的考试了!

  8. Hi, thanks for posting!

    “我用 Email 个我姐姐” should be
    “我用 email 给我姐姐”

  9. Hi,
    This is perfect!
    There are a lot of places online where you can get listening practice-but I was looking for a site with reading text.
    This is the first text I am reading, but I can already see that it will be very useful and a great supplement to the podcasts and language exchanges I am doing!
    Great job!

  10. Hi

    Just wanted to comment that this website is exactly what I was looking for to learn chinese. I’m happy to have found it. These texts for beginners fit my needs. Greetings from Brazil.

  11. The last paragraph should be 氣息instead of 喜慶? And typo on email 個我姐姐, should be 給我姐姐. great work tho!

  12. WHAO your chinese is good even tough you are not from singapore i envy you..
    thanks for the preparations now i am ready :)

  13. I think there’s a grammar mistake. 咳嗽的很厉害 should be 咳嗽得很厉害。 Could you check it, please? Thanks. This is a very common mistake, even in native Mandarin speakers.

  14. Kendra ;-) it’s amazing what you do to us – students of chinese language;-) very helpfull !many thanks to you – wish you a many hapinnes God must bless you for your work ;-) sunny regards ;-) )) ;-)

  15. Perfect! Love and appreciate your work that you have put into this website. Do you have any other recommendations for reading easy short stories online?

  16. Reply mohammad parwez says: September 29, 2014 at 2:47 am

    this story is very helpful to me for chinese study.

  17. Reply Barrack obama says: October 28, 2014 at 7:32 am


  18. Thank you for this wonderful site.

    A small question. In the last paragraph, what does “喜庆也好了” mean? Is it maybe supposed to be “心情也好了”?

  19. Seriously, thank you very much for this. I enjoy attempting to read your posts (I’m a very raw beginner with Chinese) and I really think your website will be my best resource to establish a foothold in being able to read. So thanks.

  20. Such a great text. It is a delight to read, learn and understand. Thank you so much.

  21. Reply meisjedatchineesleert says: November 14, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Hi, at 晚上咳嗽(的)很厉害, i think it should be 晚上咳嗽(得)很厉害

  22. I agree with meisjedatchineesleert. At the first sentence: 晚上咳嗽的很厉害, “的” should be “得” >> 晚上咳嗽得很厉害.

  23. email is 电邮 in chinese?

  24. Hi I am a native chinese speaker. Maybe I can help you guys learn chinese

  25. I’m a beginner too in learning mandarin..i find this website beneficial for me. i would like to suggest one more thing which is adding a speaker where it can read the whole passage while we can hear the pronunciation.. it may help to learn mandarin quickly.. Xiexie!

  26. Email 个我。。。,个comes before noun, but here after noun ( email 个).how is it ?

  27. Reply Alden Quillens says: April 21, 2017 at 1:12 am

    I recently did a system restore on my computer and have yet to reload my antivirus software. Apparently somewhere along the process something called Antivi took over my computer and I can’t do anything, not even get to my task manager to end the program. Any advice?.

  28. Reply homepage says: May 7, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Uau, isso pós é bom, meu irmã mais nova está analisando destes coisas, tão vou informar ela.

  29. Reply Tractors Service Repair Manuals says: June 16, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    What i do not realize is in fact how you are
    now not actually a lot more neatly-favored than you may be now.

    You are very intelligent. You already know thus considerably in terms of this matter,
    produced me for my part consider it from a lot of numerous angles.
    Its like men and women are not fascinated unless it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga!

    Your personal stuffs great. At all times deal with it up!

  30. Reply chevrolet malibu 2015 2016 says: August 3, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this brilliant blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your
    RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this site
    with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  31. Reply city resort Residence says: August 20, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Hi colleagues, nice paragraph and pleasant arguments commented here,
    I am in fact enjoying by these.

  32. Reply sell my house fast for cash cincinnati says: March 22, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    This is my first time go to see at here and i am genuinely pleassant to
    read all at alone place.

  33. Reply SEX886 - 100% FREE FETISH TUBES - Page 6 - ARAB - ASIAN - BUKKAKE - GANGBANG - MILF - PISSING - PREGNANT - SPANDEX - SQUIRTING says: May 5, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Right here is the perfect blog for anybody who really wants to understand this
    topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been written about for years.
    Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

  34. 非常感谢你 for this short paragraph.

  35. 非常感谢你 for this short paragraph. But I want to know why use repeat and repeat“ 就 ”in Chinese paragraph 。Please explain me.

  36. Reply website design company london says: March 8, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    There are lots of software companies all around the world, one of which is London web agency.
    They would try to make your site famous through social networking sites like my space, Facebook, Twitter, Digo, Digg, Delicious,
    etc as a part of their SEO services London. asia expert in providing website designing, website development, seo services,
    website hosting, digital marketing services and offering professional readymade
    scripts without any hesitation work and these Yourneeds.

Leave Comment: