Under the weather

Most Important Level 2

"to be under the weather" / "to feel under the weather"

Meaning: to be sick; to feel sick

Why does it mean that?

Nobody is really sure where this expression comes from. Some people say it originally used as slang by sailors traveling on the ocean.

However, it is not particularly important where it came from, but it is a common expression that is important for English learners to know.

When do we use it?

We use it when we are sick. However, we do not use this expression when a person is very sick. "Under the weather" is more commonly used when a person has a cold or some other minor illness.

How do we use it?

We can use this expression after a "be verb".
  • She is under the weather.
  • He will not come to work today because he is under the weather.
  • I was under the weather all last week.
We can also use this expression after the verb "to feel".
  • I feel under the weather today.
  • She said she is feeling a little under the weather today.
  • He might not come because he feels under the weather.
Example English Conversation

A) How are you?
B) To be honest, I am a little under the weather today.
A) That's too bad. Why don't you go home and get some rest?
B) I can't because I have an important meeting today.
A) I hate when that happens. It is terrible to feel under the weather when you have important things to do.
B) Tell me about it!

It is important that you know English expressions and idioms if you want to have fluent English conversations with native English speakers or other advanced English speakers. Do not try to learn many expressions and idioms at one time. Instead, study a few of these free English lessons each week and learn English expressions and words well. This will help your English vocabulary improve steadily, and you will start speaking English like a native speaker.