Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    882
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default I've got a headache/stomachache

    I read the following sentences from a book.

    1. I 've got a headache.
    2. I 've got stomachache.

    In sentence 1, the author use "a" before headache. Why doesn't the author use "a" before stomachache in sentences 2? I looked "stomachache" up from dictionaries, it is a countable or uncountable noun. Is stomachache a countable or uncountable noun in sentence 2?
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 02-Dec-2012 at 16:08.

  2. #2
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,696
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I've got a headache/stomachache

    There should have been an "a" before both of these words.

  3. #3
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    882
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I've got a headache/stomachache

    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/toothache

    He's got a really bad toothache.

    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/toothache

    He's got really bad toothache.

    It seems that American English use an "a" before "toothache" whereas British English does not use an article before it.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I've got a headache/stomachache

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    It seems that American English uses an "a" before "toothache" whereas British English does not use an article before it.
    That is correct.

  5. #5
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,696
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I've got a headache/stomachache

    Well...what can I say? They also go to hospital and go to university. Perhaps one of our English members can provide us with a sound reason why the article is not required.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,761
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I've got a headache/stomachache

    "Headache" is the only one of the standard "aches" we do use the article with.

    I have a headache.
    I have stomachache.
    I have toothache.
    I have bellyache.
    I have tummy ache.
    I have earache.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I've got a headache/stomachache

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    Well...what can I say? They also go to hospital and go to university. Perhaps one of our English members can provide us with a sound reason why the article is not required.
    No, that's just British usage. We don't have to have a reason for it, any more than you have to have a reason for AmE usage.
    Last edited by 5jj; 02-Dec-2012 at 18:23.

  8. #8
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,141
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I've got a headache/stomachache

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Winwin:



    And don't forget: If your significant other (wife / husband / girlfriend/ boyfriend) leaves you, you will have a

    heartache -- maybe!



    James

  9. #9
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: I've got a headache/stomachache

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    And don't forget: If your significant other (wife / husband / girlfriend/ boyfriend) leaves you, you will have a heartache -- maybe!
    Some of us will heave an enormous sigh of relief.

Similar Threads

  1. have a headache or having a headache
    By s.clke in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 17-Apr-2011, 09:42
  2. a headache
    By ripley in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 14-Mar-2010, 00:20
  3. stomachache
    By peter123 in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Jan-2008, 08:46
  4. stomachache
    By moda43 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-Jan-2008, 23:44

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •