In British English, ill means unwell. Ill is most common in predicative position.

She couldn’t come because she was ill.

Before a noun, many British people prefer to use sick.

She spent years looking after her sick husband.

Be sick can mean ‘vomit’.

I feel sick. Where is the bathroom?
1 2
Thanks Anon!:) I thought there was no difference between them!
An aside: Turkish-speaking users here will chuckle to learn that I used "ill" exclusively while teaching English to young teens in Turkey. [sick sounds just like a "bad" word in Turkish .]
Try out our live chat room.
Lol. Philip you are right, when I use that word people look at my face very strangely but I found a solution. I pronunce it wrong.Emotion: big smile Though its pronunciation is /sık/, I pronunce it as /'sıg/. Emotion: big smile
AnonymousBe sick can mean ‘vomit’.

I feel sick. Where is the bathroom?

To clarify, for BrE:

1. I am sick = I am ill, I am unwell.

2. I am being sick = I am vomiting.

3. I was sick = either I was ill or I vomited.

4. I feel sick = I feel as if I'm about to vomit (and may well do so).

5. I felt sick = I felt as if I was about to vomit (but probably didn't).

Is it also true in BrE that "sick" can be used as a noun, as in "Careful -- don't step in the sick"?
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Yes indeed, e.g. "The troubled pop princess, who spent a month in rehab earlier this year, was then carried out of the bar sobbing and covered in sick".


many Thanks for these information

You're welcome, A/man! But don't forget: it's "this information".

All the best,

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Show more