Health Problem

Senior Woman Seeing Doctor
ULTRA.F / Getty Images

Here are some expressions to describe physical conditions. Pain is usually described using the adjective "itai (painful, sore)".
 

atama ga itai
頭が痛い
to have a headache
ha ga itai
歯が痛い
to have a toothache
nodo ga itai
のどが痛い
to have a sore throat
onaka ga itai
おなかが痛い
to have a stomachache
seki ga deru
せきがでる
to have a cough
hana ga deru
鼻がでる
to have a runny nose
netsu ga aru
熱がある
to have a fever
samuke ga suru
寒気がする
to have a chill
karada ga darui
体がだるい
to feel a lack of energy
shokuyoku ga nai
食欲がない
to have no appetite
memai ga suru
めまいがする
to feel dizzy
kaze o hiku
風邪をひく
to catch a cold


Click here to learn the vocabulary of body parts.

When describing your conditions to a doctor, "~n desu" is often added at the end of the sentence. It has an explanatory function. To express "I have a cold," "kaze o hikimashita (風邪をひきました)" or "kaze o hiiteimasu (風邪をひいています)" is used.

Atama ga itai n desu.
頭が痛いんです。
I have a headache.
Netsu ga aru n desu.
熱があるんです。
I have a fever.


Here is how to express degrees of pain.

totemo itai
とても痛い
very painful
sukoshi itai
少し痛い
a little bit painful


Onomatopoeic expressions are also used to express degrees of pain. "Gan gan (がんがん)" or "zuki zuki (ずきずき)" is used to describe headaches. "Zuki zuki (ずきずき)" or "shiku shiku (しくしく)" is used for toothaches and "kiri kiri (きりきり)" or "shiku shiku (しくしく)" for stomachaches.

gan gan 
がんがん
pounding headache
zuki zuki 
ずきずき
throbbing pain
shiku shiku 
しくしく
dull pain
kiri kiri 
きりきり
sharp continuous pain
hiri hiri 
ひりひり
burning pain
chiku chiku
ちくちく
prickly pain

 

Where Do I Begin