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In British English there's a difference between those two: to be sick = to vomit; to feel sick = to not feel well.

So, if I say "I am sick", does it actually mean I'm vomiting or I'm about to vomit?
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Hello EyeSeeYou,

actually I've never heard about this 'to be sick = to vomit', plus everytime people said to me "I'm sick" they meant: "I don't feel fine". Anyway I know that to be sick can have many other meanings when referred to something in particular as: to be sick for home (to miss home), to be sick at heart (to get disheartened) ...

Maybe some native speakers could tell something more about it Emotion: smile
EyeSeeYouSo, if I say "I am sick", does it actually mean I'm vomiting or I'm about to vomit?
Yes, 'to be sick' can also mean 'to vomit' or 'feel ready to vomit'. In the latter situation, people often say 'I'm going to be sick'.
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American English uses 'sick' in the general sense of ill, unwell, not British English.

In British English to be sick = to vomit; to feel sick = to feel as though you are about to/likely to vomit. It doesn't apply to generally not feeling well.
To add to Nona's post: in the UK, we'd say "I don't feel very well" or "I feel poorly" where an AmE user might say "I feel sick". If we're talking about someone else, we would say "He's off work because he's ill" or "...he's not well".
So, if someone says "I'm sick" (in BrE), it literally means they are puking/vomiting right now?
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EyeSeeYouSo, if someone says "I'm sick" (in BrE), it literally means they are puking/vomiting right now?
Firstly, they wouldn't really feel like saying it (or even be able to do so) at that very moment, would they? They would normally say it before, 'I'm going to be sick', or afterwards, 'I've just been sick'.

Secondly, to talk about what is happening now, we need the present continuous. Therefore, we could say 'I'm being sick' (in between vomiting fits).
Conchita57
EyeSeeYouSo, if someone says "I'm sick" (in BrE), it literally means they are puking/vomiting right now?
Firstly, they wouldn't really feel like saying it (or even be able to do so) at that very moment, would they? They would normally say it before, 'I'm going to be sick', or afterwards, 'I've just been sick'.

Secondly, to talk about what is happening now, we need the present continuous. Therefore, we could say 'I'm being sick' (in between vomiting fits).
First, thanks for replying.

Well, to say "I'm being sick" doesn't sound idiomatic, does it? I'm pretty positive the "I'm sick" phrase is really common, hence my analitic question. I'd bet that to simply say "I'm sick" means that you've just been vomiting and are in the process of doing so in short, though I need confirmation from teachers.
Hi there,

I'm a British Nurse and English Teacher. I write a medical English blog, so hope this helps. The link below will answer your question. Enjoy

http://realmedicalenglish.blogspot.com/2011/11/sick.html
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