Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever been in a situation where you want to offer well wishes to somebody who is sick or in need?

Do you struggle with the right words to say to this person in English?

Do you want to be sure that you offer up the right words that can show compassion?

We’re going to give you some great examples of what to say to somebody who is sick, and how these words can help.

Here’s a letter that asks about this very thing to show an example of how it can work.

Hello, Lindsay.

I am sooooo glad that you answered my question about “all over the world.” My student was very happy, too.

I often listen to your podcast when I drive. The day I listened to your podcast, I was a little blue…. but your podcast lifted me up a lot.

Today I have another question.

My colleague from Australia has to go back to his country to go to the hospital and get some medication. He called me to tell that he cannot help me with my English lessons for awhile and said sorry.

I said, “Oh, it’s okay. Your health is most important. Please take care of yourself. Hope to have lessons with you again.”

And I said “take care” a couple of times later again. I think what I said was okay, but I wanted more variety with how to say that. As he had to fly back to Australia, I said “Have a safe trip, “ but he corrected me and said that I should have said “ Have a safe flight. “ It was real-life learning, too. Anyway, please teach my some more phrases to say to someone who is sick.


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Looking At Slight Differences

This is a great question–there are a lot of smaller questions on here, so we will focus on a couple.

Let’s break it down so that we answer everything in a way that’s easy to comprehend.

Let’s start with the difference between “have a safe trip” and “have a safe flight.”

Trip may imply that it’s more of a vacation and have that leisurely type of feel to it.

When you compare that to a flight, that is focused on the mode of transportation.

It’s not that trip is wrong, and actually many people might say that and it’s perfectly acceptable.

Other Ways To Say The Same Thing

Sometimes it’s a matter of having multiple ways of saying the same thing.

This may not always seem easy and you may feel unsure of what the right words are to say.

Having multiple options can help you in a pinch and therefore ensure that you show compassion when you need it.

It was really great in the letter how the person who wrote said “Oh, it’s OK. Your health is most important. Please take care of yourself. Hope to have lessons with you again.”

When it comes to something like “take care”, you may search for other options of how to say this.

You may wish to say “take care” for a variety of reasons, but for our purposes we’ll use it for a time when somebody isn’t feeling well.

If somebody isn’t feeling well and you want to go beyond just “take care”, then here are some options that work just as well.

  • Get well soon!– Good for showing care and pretty general, but works in most situations
  • Don’t worry about anything here. Just focus on your health and getting better.- This is good for if you had to cancel a plan specifically for work or a commitment you had. It puts the other persons mind at ease that you can handle everything.
  • Feel better! – It’s a casual phrase that works well in showing that you’re thinking about that person.
  • I hope everything is okay. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. -This one is more of a caring thing to say to someone who is close to you, but could be someone you work with. For example, someone at work may need help communicating to others and you could be the point person, or maybe there’s a lesson plan a teacher needs to do or an email they need to write. For someone close to you, maybe they need you to pick up food for them or get them medicine.

These are all great options if you need the right thing to say to somebody.

You Want To Take The Stress Out of Things

The main idea is to make the person in need realize that they don’t need to worry about their day to day life.

It can be nerve wracking when you get sick and have work obligations or other personal things to tend to.

Assuring the person that they don’t need to think of any of these things can be relieving to hear and can build connection.

Also, well wishes always help!

Some of these phrases are more for general health, but some are good for these particular situations.

Try them out and see which ones work in your specific situation.


When someone is sick, there is still an opportunity to make or break the connection.

Focus on making them feel good about themselves and allowing them the opportunity to relax and not think about day to day life.

The words that you chose can really help the situation or possibly even make it worse.

So think it through, use some of these examples, and find ways to help show compassion to somebody in this situation.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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