Ich bin krank – useful German phrases in case of illness

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When you go on holidays, the last thing you want to happen is an illness, but unfortunately these things do happen. So, to help you along a little bit, here is a blog post with the German names for some parts of the body and some sentences in case you’re ill:

First a few body parts, sorted according to gender:

Der Kopf – head
Der Mund – mouth
Der Bauch – stomach
Der Fuß – foot
Der Finger – finger
Der Hals – neck, can also mean throat
Der Rücken – back
Der Arm – arm
Der Zahn – tooth

Die Nase – nose
Die Lippe – lip
Die Hand – hand

Das Ohr – ear
Das Bein – leg
Das Knie – knee
Das Gesicht – face
Das Auge – eye

When you have an ache and would say in English ‘I have an …ache’ you can do the same in German by saying ‘ich habe …schmerzen’

Ich habe Kopfschmerzen – I have a headache
Ich habe Bauchschmerzen – I have a stomachache
Ich habe Halsschmerzen – I have a sore throat
Ich habe Rückenschmerzen – I have a backache
Ich habe Zahnschmerzen – I have a toothache
Ich habe Ohrenschmerzen – I have an earache

For other parts of the body you’ll need to say ‘My … hurts’

Here you need two sentences, ‘mein … tut weh’ if the part that hurts is just one, or ‘meine … tun weh’ if it’s more than one.


Mein Arm tut weh. My arm hurts.
Mein Knie tut weh. My knee hurts.
Meine Augen tun weh. My eyes hurt.

If you find the ‘tut weh’ sentences easier, you can also use them instead of ‘ich habe …schmerzen’.
It’s your choice whether you want to say ‘ich habe Kopfschmerzen’ or ‘mein Kopf tut weh’.
Ideally, of course, you don’t want to have to say any of them, but if you do, at least you are prepared now and will not have to say “Ich bin krank.” (I’m ill)

For more information about pronunciation of these words and sentences and for other useful information click on the link below, which takes you to my online course with a 30 day challenge for learning basic German in time for your awesome holiday or successful business trip to Germany, and hopefully no illness 🙂

Beginners’ German for busy people

Or you can buy my book: Learn German for your holidays: 30 bite-sized tasks for your first trip

Learn German for your holidays: 30 bite-sized tasks for your first trip Paperback

Learn German for your holidays: 30 bite-sized tasks for your first trip Kindle Edition

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