Articles, Blog

Learn Real English: Getting sick and buying medicine

March 7, 2020

E, you’re going to need some medicine.
Take your medicine. Dunh-dunh-dunh. Hi. James from engVid. Today’s lesson is going to be on getting
medicine, going to the pharmacy, and who you should see
to get these things. Okay, look, you’re learning
English, and if you’re really lucky, you’re going to get to travel to different
places, English-speaking places, and when you go there, it’s not always going to be
perfect. I’m hoping most of the time you have a great time, meet interesting people, but
you might get sick or feel bad, and when you do, you’re going to need someone to help you. And
what I’d like to do is help you with today’s lesson, and where we’re going to talk about
how we ack-… Not acknowledge, but we tell someone what’s wrong with us, and how
they help us get better. Are you ready? Let’s go to the board. So, first: “symptoms”. It’s a nice,
long word. What are your symptoms? “Symptoms” are the things that you
feel when you don’t feel well. If you say: “My back hurts”,
or “My head hurts”, or “My stomach
doesn’t feel good”, what we are saying is
these are your symptoms. When you have a cold, you have a runny nose, your
nose is runny-right?-sometimes-[coughs]-you cough, sometimes you have this –
well, that would be a fever. If that’s the symptoms, I’d say you have a flu; not a cold.
All right? Okay. So when you see a doctor, and that’s who you
go to, you go to a doctor, they’ll ask you: “What are your symptoms?” And you say: “Doctor,
my arm hurts and my back hurts.” He’ll go: “Okay. You know what? I think you have blah,
blah, blah, and you need some medicine.” So once you tell them the symptoms, if the doctor
feels this is something you won’t get better in, you know, two or three days, like: “You’re
tired, get some sleep, or eat some food”, the doctor will tell you
to get some medicine. Now, in North America, which is Canada, United
States, and Mexico – they have great… Well, we won’t say Mexico, because English speaking,
Canada, United States, Great Britain, Australia, you cannot get medicine just because you want
it. You actually have to go to a special place, and you have to get what’s called a prescription. A
prescription actually… The word is “prescription”, but we say “perscription”. The prescription
is the doctor saying what medicine you need. Remember we said medicine? And he
signs or she will sign it, and say: “Please give this
person that medicine.” In this case, I said “he” because Mr.
E, if you didn’t know it, he’s a doctor. He is
a doctor, bona fide. Anyway, Mr. E will sign a piece
of paper and give it to you. You will then go to a place called “the pharmacy”.
The pharmacy is where we actually get medicine. Sometimes they actually make some of the medicines,
or put them together there for you. Another word for “pharmacy” is “drug store”. A lot
of times, Canadians and Americans will go: “I’m going to the drug
store to get something”, because they don’t just sell medicine and
drugs-and “drugs” is another word for “medicine” -they sell other things
you might need, you know, tooth paste, floss for your teeth, and we
have a video on that if you really want to go check-okay?-on how to take care of yourself.
But you go to the drug store or the pharmacy to get your medicine. When you go there and you hand it, you’re going
to hand the piece of paper to the person called “the pharmacist”. The pharmacist is the
doctor that deals with giving out medicines. They will ask you for your prescription. When
you hand them the prescription, they will-here we have number 5-fill your prescription. “Fill
it”, think of a bath tub, or yeah, a glass of water – it’s empty, but as you put the water
in, it fills up. Filling the prescription means putting the medicine inside
of the bottle for you to take. The pharmacist will
fill your prescription. Sometimes, though, the pharmacist will say: “Hey, don’t
worry about this, it’s an ‘over-the-counter’ drug.” “Over-the-counter” drug means the doctor
doesn’t need to give you a prescription; the pharmacist can just make it
for you or give it to you. There is some medications that they don’t want
to leave on the shelves for people to just take, but it’s not necessary for a
doctor to give it to you, so they’ll let you know if it’s
an over-the-counter drug or not. Something to know about medicines: Some medicines
will make you sleepy, and some will not. In this case, what we say is
“drowsy” or “non-drowsy”. Okay? Medicines that make you
sleepy-[yawns]-or drowsy make you… Yeah. Make you fall asleep. And the
non-drowsy ones wake you up and make you speak really, really, really quickly.
Okay? You’re thinking: “Okay, what does it matter?” Well, it
does matter if you’re driving a car or if you’re going to work. They will usually recommend
that if you have a medicine that will make you… That will make you drowsy, they will say: “You know what? Don’t
drive a car, and maybe don’t go to work. It will be dangerous for you.” And sometimes the drowsy ones are
good, because they will make you sleep so you can relax, get a good night sleep,
and be better the next day. Okay? So you can ask your pharmacist: “Is this
medicine drowsy or non-drowsy, or will this medicine
make me drowsy?” and they will be happy to
answer your questions. So we’ve filled your prescription. Maybe it was
an over-the-counter drug, maybe it wasn’t. You found out whether it
was drowsy or non-drowsy. In North America, I can
say Canada specifically, in the United States I believe as well, and
in Britain, Britain’s a little different, they have an insurance plan that the country
uses, but in Canada, we ask if you have an insurance plan. And if you say: “What do you mean, insurance
plan?” Well, what this means is there’s a company that you’ve paid money
to that if you have to buy medicine or see a doctor, it makes it very cheap
or you don’t pay any money at all. In Canada, we have a medical system that’s
paid for; we don’t pay for our doctors, but we still need an insurance plan
if we want to get cheap medicine. An example might be this:
If I need something for my head, and the medicine or the drugs
cost $100, if I have an insurance plan, I don’t pay. I show my card, I don’t pay. If I
forget my card, I must pay. So this is something you should think about when you leave your
country. Make sure you have medical insurance. Okay? Because things get really expensive
if you don’t have it, and it’s something to look into before you go. Now, here’s something we want to talk about the
medicines themselves, because after you’ve told the pharmacist if you have an insurance
plan, you pay or it’s for “free”. Okay? You don’t have to pay, and you’re free to go.
And you can take the medicine to help you with your symptoms. But let’s talk about the medicine itself.
Okay? You’re going to get a bottle like this, and there will be things in it. You call this
medicine. Another word for here, we say are “drugs”, “medicine”, but the things
themselves are “pills”. We’ll say: “Did you take your pill? How
many pills do you have to take?” You don’t say to anybody: “How
many drugs do you have to take?” That’s a little crazy. But “pills”
are the individual things that you take, so: “I have
to take two pills.” Now, this will be put on the “label”, and
that’s that little piece of paper thing, here. Right? That’s the label. So on the
label will be the instructions: “Take two pills with water. Take two pills
in the morning. Take one pill here.” And will also list the side effects: “Will make you
tired, will make you need to go to the washroom.” So you should read for side effects, read for how many
pills you should take, and you’ll find all of that information on the label. But if you really want to know where you have
to go, go to the pharmacy, because you’ll never get the medicine without going there. So
if you ever feel ill and you’re in a foreign country that speaks English, locate a doctor,
tell them your symptoms. Okay? The doctor, if you need medicine, will tell you what medicine
you need. Another word for medicine is “drug”. Right? “Drug” is the name of the medicine.
He’ll write a prescription for you. You can take that to the pharmacy. There, they will
f-… They will fill your drug. Some of these drugs are over-the-counter, which means, as I
said, the pharmacist doesn’t need a prescription; he can just say: “Oh, just take this.
It’s good for you.” Others, you need
the prescription. They’ll let you know if it’s drowsy or non-drowsy,
which is important if you need to work, or if you are driving your car, you should know
what will happen to you. Right? Because you may be very tired because of the drug. Before
you pay, they… They’ll usually ask if you have an insurance plan, that’s because that
saves you money. Okay? And I also recommend you get an insurance plan when you go to any
country. All right? You never know what will happen. Finally, look at the drug itself. It
will tell you how many pills. Another word for “pills” are
“dosage”: What dosage? How many you should take, when you should
take it, and possible side effects. Cool? Well, listen, taking your medicine makes you
better, and that’s why I feel like engVid is like medicine. You come here, we give you
the medicine, your symptoms are you don’t speak English, when you’re
done-[snaps]-you do. Okay? So after this lesson, I know… And actually we’re not going to go there yet.
We’re going to give you a short quiz to make sure you understand
everything I just said. So you ready? Let’s go. [Snaps] Okay. Let’s look at some things you should
know, just some general things that are good to understand before you go to a pharmacy.
Okay? Then I have a short quiz to give to you to see if you really
understood what I said. You ready? Let’s go. Okay, things you should know.
Number one: In Canada and United
States, a pharmacy is also known as a drug store. Two words, so
they’ll say “drug store” or “pharmacy”. Usually because at the drug store, it’s not just medicine.
They sell other things; baby products, cleaning products, a bunch of stuff. Number two: When you
need help, you will say: “Can you help me with…?” or
“Can you help me find…?” If you say: “Can you help me with getting
this medicine?” people will understand. Or if you say: “Can you help me find
the pharmacist for this medicine?” Or: “Can you help me with
looking for something?” They might say to you when
you walk into the pharmacy: “Can I help you with something?”
So notice how these are the same? Both of you are looking for something;
you’re looking for help, they’re looking for a way to help you. So if they say: “Can I
help you with something?” you don’t say: “No, I’m not
lifting any boxes, I’m okay.” They’re saying: “Can I help you with
your medicine or anything you need?” A lot of times on your medicine, it will
say: “Take with”. Read this very carefully. If you remember the label I talked about, it
might say: “Take with food. Take with water.” or “Don’t take with taking alcohol.” Carefully read
that. So read this: “Take with” or “Don’t take with”. Okay? And finally: “pain” equals “ache”.
Okay? You can say: “I have back pain.” or “I have a backache.” When you say “back
pain”, it will be two words; when you say “backache”, it will be one. When you say:
“I have head pain.” it will be two words; when you have a “headache”, it
will be one word. Okay? Cool. Now let’s do our short quiz to see if you’re ready
for the real thing. “I went to see Doctor E and
said, ‘I was feeling bad.’ He asked me what my
__________ were.” Now, what would be the first thing a doctor
would ask you before they give you medicine? That’s right. “What are your symptoms? Tell
me what’s wrong with you. I can’t give you medicine if
I don’t know what’s wrong.” “I told him I had a
serious head__________.” Well, yeah, you’re not a funny person, that’s why
you’re serious, you have a serious head. Right? Yeah, we could say “head pain”, you’re
right. “Head pain” is a good answer, but “head pain” is two words,
and this looks like one. “Headache”, head pain, serious
head pain is a headache. Okay? Next: “He wrote me a __________”. That’s right, “prescription”. “He wrote me a prescription.” Remember
I said we say “perscription” here? We do, right? “I need
a perscription for”, but he wrote me a prescription; the
spelling is p-r-e. Keep that in mind, okay? And finally: “He wrote me a prescription and sent
me to the __________ __________.” Hmm. Where would he send you
if you have a prescription, you have symptoms, and you don’t feel well?
Where would you go with your prescription? No, not to jail. To the “drug store”. He sent
you to the drug store. Cool. You did pretty well, but I’m thinking you need
a better test, and when you go to engVid, which is www w, only three, eng as in English, vid
as in (, you can go do the rest of this test
and just see just how good you are. Now, I’d like to say thank you once
again for watching our videos, and I want you to subscribe. All right?
So what you got to do is look around, and there’s a button there
and it’ll say “Subscribe”, because that will get you my latest video,
so you won’t have to look for me. Not like the doctor, get a prescription. All you’ll have to do is subscribe,
and the next time a video comes out -[snaps]- it’ll be sent right to you.
Pretty cool, huh? Anyway, you have a good
day, and we’ll talk soon.


  • Reply الاسلام ديني March 16, 2016 at 11:44 am

    really very good lessons thaaanks mr James

  • Reply Maram March 16, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    You're a great teacher 👏🏻💜 , your lessons are always useful 👌🏻.

  • Reply Aviões & Matemática March 16, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    l would like to creat a group in whats app with people of all the world to practice english.

    put your number here…..with the codig the country and city
    EX: BRAZIL 55+19+996028553

  • Reply Abdulrahman Aj March 17, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    👏👏👏 great presentation

  • Reply aseccato March 18, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Perfect !!!

  • Reply Elijah Ewar March 18, 2016 at 7:39 am

    When I`m busy and feel something coming down like malaria, I use non drowsy drugs be I see the doctor.

  • Reply F Nasri March 18, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Hey James, Good job :X

  • Reply Didier Campaz March 18, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    great as always my friend just great

  • Reply Cô Bông Hoa Kỳ March 18, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Every video is very useful.

  • Reply Javier March 19, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Great Lesson. Interesting and useful

  • Reply Samrane Lam March 19, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Thank you Teacher

  • Reply Bin Vo March 20, 2016 at 4:05 am

    I want to improve my Eng. Someone add my skype and talk together. My skype: vanquy1410

  • Reply Foaz Albshir March 20, 2016 at 9:22 am

    good for you you are the best

  • Reply tarik idhem March 20, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Hi mr Jaimes thank you so much for your great corsses im your student frome the north africa (Algeria) and i have a quistion wich it is ..when we travel around the world (i mean generally) wath the accént of English the more understood i mean the British one or the american and why … thanks again Teacher .

  • Reply yussef noeser March 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I want to practice english my number 0096178 902 938

  • Reply ma va March 20, 2016 at 8:34 pm


  • Reply Merita Rivas March 20, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Esmeralda El Salvador 50378588716

  • Reply JCSL Peruibe March 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Great lession! It was funny when during your quiz I told "-Head Pain" you immediately answered "-Yeah, we could say head pain. Head pain is a good aswer…" lol

  • Reply hieu to van March 22, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Your lesson is very useful for me. Thank you very much! I would like to watch more vidieo you make next time 🙂

  • Reply srpbox250 March 23, 2016 at 8:58 am


  • Reply александр родюков March 23, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks for the lesson =) very useful =)

  • Reply Luiza Cavalcanti March 25, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    James, what the best english school in Canadá? Can you help me with this?

  • Reply Cheryl Chen March 25, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    hi, everybody.Where can I find a full of transcript?

  • Reply bilking002 news March 27, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Thank you so much Mr. E
    Your newest lesson is very important for me, i learnt a lots, and used all of them in my real life in Laos

  • Reply Cameron March 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    are you even a real teacher 😐

  • Reply Cameron March 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    did you get a BIG BIG D in maths that's why u only do English

  • Reply StoriPoliLenguaje March 29, 2016 at 3:38 am

    hi james, i really enjoy your videos, can you do a video about the vocabulary of symptoms?
    that would help a lot

  • Reply Astana Vista April 1, 2016 at 9:01 am

    nice uniform dude xD

  • Reply 黎苏剑 April 2, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Hey James,could you give me some advice about how to find comprehensible listening input and practice it

  • Reply Dario Silveira April 2, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    James,you are a great teacher, you have the magic

  • Reply Torgan April 2, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I will stay here on this channel, cause learning from the books is boring for me. You are learning in interesting way – great explantation of mind map. Everything is explained slowly and clearly and elements of a lesson are connected together. Also you seems for a sympathic guy 😉

  • Reply Mafas C. April 7, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Really enjoy the vídeos !!! Keep going

  • Reply Ibrahim El Ghatwary April 12, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Excellent.. Thnx

  • Reply Zargo Pachulia April 14, 2016 at 3:26 pm


  • Reply Sandy Yeh April 24, 2016 at 6:53 am

    so cool , your class is very helpful to we Chinese students, keep forward please. 加油~

  • Reply Сергей Зайцев April 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    The best teacher ever. Thank you from Russia

  • Reply Shërin Chüsh April 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I don't completely understand what "over the counter" means.

  • Reply Shërin Chüsh April 29, 2016 at 5:00 am

    Why did James say "bona fide" after saying "He's a doctor"? Because he said "he signs it (a prescription)" before "she will sign it". And some feminists might criticize that James gets used to stereotype medical doctor, or to form a fixed and untrue idea about which gender a medical doctor should be. James tried to prevent them from blaming him by adding the adverb "bona fide", a Latin term for seriously, genuinely, or truely, to "He's a doctor". How kind and stressed Mr. James is.

  • Reply Shërin Chüsh April 29, 2016 at 5:45 am

    Why do people not say "How many drugs do you have to take?" Because taking drugs actually means taking addictive drugs, such as amphetamine, coke (or cocaine), heroin, and things like that, although to take drugs literally means to take medicines. So do not use the phrase "take drugs" when you are asking somebody about their medication or prescription.

  • Reply andré christove April 29, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    This lesson was really non-drowsy! 😁😁😂😂😂
    When you have been feel don't good, I recommend for you watch engvid videos, you gonna feel yourself better… but if the symptoms come back over again, I recommend for you watch this every night still you feel yourself non-drowsy!

  • Reply safaa safaa April 29, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    thank you teache

  • Reply Иван Ефименко May 1, 2016 at 4:41 am

    If somebody could I would like to get some practice to improve my English skills. viber: 0982183103 skyp: ben31815

  • Reply PoCoMiKanalZebyDodacGlupiKomentarz May 2, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I think u should add annotation about word "recipe" – it's another word for prescription 😉

  • Reply Xsquare Academy May 3, 2016 at 3:54 am


  • Reply Katerina Vafis May 9, 2016 at 9:48 am

    James, you're a real samurai!!!! Thank you so much for your video which inspire not to just but also to do good things and kearn good things about different cultures, situations and people.
    If anybody knows James' instagram or fb page, please leave the comment

  • Reply Marko May 9, 2016 at 10:15 am

    tnx james!

  • Reply JanBrazil May 12, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Congrats for the videos! I really like your way. It's not like a robot. You give life to the classes. 😉

  • Reply anita1970ish May 16, 2016 at 3:23 am

    I really love how you teach!i really want to get better at english

  • Reply Unicorn 3 May 21, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Thx,James! ^^

  • Reply sydney antiojo June 1, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Thank you so much sir James. Your videos help a lot 😀

  • Reply Pedro Lucas Albuquerque June 12, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    the best teacher in the world!!!

  • Reply Tân Huỳnh June 14, 2016 at 9:56 am

    tks a lot James

  • Reply Tân Huỳnh June 14, 2016 at 9:57 am

    your presentation was so great and you're so funny

  • Reply 張家瑞 July 2, 2016 at 2:39 am

    I'm from Taiwan and i'm learning English.
    James' videos always help me a lot.
    Thank you!!!

  • Reply Parvaty Soto July 7, 2016 at 2:25 am

    thanks you

  • Reply el pamidor July 23, 2016 at 8:17 am

    not to jail ahahahhaahhahahahahah

  • Reply Coolbean94vevo July 30, 2016 at 3:30 am

    Hello yes I'd like to speak to the famufithist please

  • Reply SuperAnnaanna1 August 22, 2016 at 3:53 am

    I am on the pill

  • Reply Fifi Wang September 5, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I like quiz of the video.

  • Reply Oleg Kharko October 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm


  • Reply Hunter Wang November 25, 2016 at 11:19 am

    thanks very much,you are so cool

  • Reply Jack 420blazeIt December 23, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    i started watching this video thinking he was gonna teach us how to act sick to get medicine from doctors 😂😂😂

  • Reply Ulises Lira January 3, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    está increíble el video muchísimas gracias. amigo 👏👏👏👏

  • Reply Areej Hamad January 16, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    u are awesome

  • Reply ibrahem ilhabib April 5, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    amazing , thank you

  • Reply Julio Teacher May 14, 2017 at 7:31 am

    "Another words for pills are dosage" – Dosage IS NOT a synonym for pills but the term refers to the administering of a specific amount, number, and frequency of doses over a specified period of time. By the way DRUGSTORE is one word!

  • Reply Emmir Morán May 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    thank you very much in deep 🙂

  • Reply Austin Williams May 18, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    James Lesson= Awesome!!
    That's all I can say.

  • Reply Sophie Sycheva June 1, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Hello James! Why did you compared pills and dosage? These two words are different and have different definitions, don't they? It would be nice if you explained it.

  • Reply alba proud July 3, 2017 at 10:10 am

    u r like an actor , u should try in holyWood films bcoz yr body language is like mature actors , doing good job , keep it up ! i recommend try films u hv talent!

  • Reply Renata Bukalska July 3, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    the best teacher ever !

  • Reply Easy Recipes August 23, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Your vedios are very useful

  • Reply Gustavo Araujo September 17, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Great teacher!

  • Reply Inci Musayeva November 7, 2017 at 10:02 am


  • Reply Khulood November 29, 2017 at 9:09 am

    thank you

  • Reply Marija Grujicic December 6, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Love your styling 🙂

  • Reply giang ham chơi December 26, 2017 at 11:02 am

    em rất thích cách dạy của thầy. khá là dễ hiểu.

  • Reply jean igor ngannou January 31, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Great teacher

  • Reply Renata Bieniek February 6, 2018 at 10:58 am


  • Reply Arian Bagheri February 7, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Oh,Great!very useful!

  • Reply om mo February 9, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Thank you 🌸 helpful lesson

  • Reply Mr Ken March 16, 2018 at 7:28 am

    Many thanks, James.

  • Reply محفوظ الهواري April 20, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Very nice

  • Reply zara spasenovic May 5, 2018 at 9:23 pm


  • Reply Sardor Ziyoev May 7, 2018 at 10:51 am

    James you are my best teacher!!! I always appreciate your tactics in terms of your lessons… thanks for you 😘😘😘😘

  • Reply Leandro Bartolini June 8, 2018 at 11:03 am


  • Reply Abolore Olalere August 3, 2018 at 1:05 am

    Wow! The lesson was superb! Thanks James.

  • Reply El_quimico_19 El_quimico_19 August 5, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Thank you sir

  • Reply El_quimico_19 El_quimico_19 August 5, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Hi im from dominican republic and work on cruise ship ""really love your class
    Thank u so much and keep up the good work😀

  • Reply نانا ننوش August 23, 2018 at 7:25 am

    thank you

  • Reply Fatmanur DEMİR October 25, 2018 at 9:57 am

    James I am a student of the pharmacist so I liked you this video really much. I can use this words in my country too if foreign people come to my pharmacy. Thanks for this lesson. And I wanna ask that to you how I can tell the people you should use this pillow after eat something or before. If you answer I will be grateful. Have o good day.

  • Reply Fafi Zar October 28, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Completely satisfied 👍

  • Reply Le detective Santé November 6, 2018 at 11:59 am

    thanks a lot:)

  • Reply ابن لأتاما Tama December 24, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Mr James good man

  • Reply Bruce Yamamoto February 6, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Great lesson, James! I'm going to show your video in my LINC class tonight.

  • Reply Julio Meneses May 2, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Nobody clear than James, the best for people trying to learn English.

  • Reply Ruslan Rus May 22, 2019 at 1:35 am

    American Canadian Australia they should speak native language of their indigenous people .

  • Reply ?A June 4, 2019 at 9:30 am

    good 🙂

  • Reply lita slon August 12, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Bravo 👏

  • Reply Fagner Correia D ́arc August 20, 2019 at 1:17 am

    James I really like your classes. You are the great teacher, please never leave up to teach us.

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