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    #1

    Post have a toothache, get toothache?

    Dear teachers,

    Could you please tell me if it's true that we say 'if you eat too much, you will have a stomachache', but, 'if you eat too much, you will get stomachache'?

    Similarly, is it true that we say 'have a backache', but 'get backache'?
    'have a sore throat', but 'get sore throat', etc,?

    Thank you!

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: have a toothache, get toothache?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Could you please tell me if it's true that we say 'if you eat too much, you will have a stomachache', but, 'if you eat too much, you will get stomachache'?

    Similarly, is it true that we say 'have a backache', but 'get backache'?
    'have a sore throat', but 'get sore throat', etc,?

    Thank you!
    It's an interesting idea, which has the ring of something once taught (particularly by teachers who were fond of of this sort of byzantine and seemingly paradoxical rule). It doesn't seem to me to be true though, Just to take those two examples, the 'stomachache' ones work (though sometimes people will also say they have or get the stomachache'). But 'get sore throat' isn't normal (though there are many conditions you can 'get').

    b

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    #3

    Re: have a toothache, get toothache?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Could you please tell me if it's true that we say 'if you eat too much, you will have a stomachache', but, 'if you eat too much, you will get stomachache'?

    Similarly, is it true that we say 'have a backache', but 'get backache'?
    'have a sore throat', but 'get sore throat', etc,?

    Thank you!
    Some typical statements in AmE:

    (A) What's wrong? (B) I have a stomachache, a backache and a sore throat.
    (A) Don't eat any more, you'll get a stomachache. (B) I know I'll get a stomachache, I had one yesterday.
    (A) Don't lift that, you'll get a backache.
    (A) Do you get a headache after exercise? OR Do you usually have a headache in the morning? (B) Yes, I get a headache after exercise and I usually have a headache in the morning.

    In general, "have" for an existing condition or an inquiry about same; "get" for future possibility/probability or pre-existing condition.

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    #4

    Re: have a toothache, get toothache?

    If I might address your thread title:

    'I have toothache. I'm going to the dentist's.'

    'When I eat ice cream I get toothache.'

    Rover

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    #5

    Re: have a toothache, get toothache?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    If I might address your thread title:

    'I have toothache. I'm going to the dentist's.'

    'When I eat ice cream I get toothache.'

    Rover
    "I have toothache" grates on me. I think most North Americans would say "I have a toothache."

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    #6

    Re: have a toothache, get toothache?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen165 View Post
    "I have toothache" grates on me. I think most North Americans would say "I have a toothache."
    In BrE, we would omit the article.

    I'm not going to work. I have terrible toothache.
    I can't go to the party. I have stomach ache.
    He is in bed with backache.

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    #7

    Re: have a toothache, get toothache?

    and what if the leg hurts? is it leg pain?

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    #8

    Re: have a toothache, get toothache?

    Quote Originally Posted by shabani View Post
    and what if the leg hurts? is it leg pain?
    Yes, leg pain or a pain in my leg.

    I should qualify my last post. We use the article with "headache" for some reason!

    I'm not going to work. I have a terrible headache.

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    #9

    Re: have a toothache, get toothache?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen165 View Post
    "I have toothache" grates on me. I hope it's not as bad as a toothache. I think most North Americans would say "I have a toothache."
    b.

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    #10

    Re: have a toothache, get toothache?

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    b.
    It's like having a root canal - without anesthesia!

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