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Learn to talk about having the flu in 6 minutes

October 19, 2019


Dan: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Dan, and joining me today is Neil. Hi Neil. Neil: Hi, everyone! Dan: Bless you! Are you ok? Neil: I think I’m coming down with something serious. Dan: It’s just a case of the sniffles. Neil: The sniffles is an informal way of saying a cold or flu. It comes from the sniffing sound people make when they have a runny nose. Dan: And a runny nose is when liquid mucus keeps leaking from our nose, usually when we are sick. I’m afraid you’ll just have to soldier on Neil. Neil: To soldier on means to continue despite difficulty. I’m dying! What’s it about anyway? Dan: It’s about ‘man flu’, and whether it’s actually real, or just something men like to complain about. We’ll give you 6 words and expressions – and, of course, our quiz question. Neil: Alright, fire away. Dan: In a survey conducted by Nuts magazine that asked its readers how long they took to recover from a cold or flu, where women put an average of 1.5 days, what did men put? Was it a) 1 day b) 2 days or c) 3 days? Neil: I’m going to say 3 days. The threat of ‘man flu’ is real. Dan: Well, we’ll find out later, but let’s clarify. ‘Man flu’ is the tendency that many people believe men have to complain about a minor illness, such as a cold or flu, and act as if they were suffering from something a lot more serious. Neil: Yes. But science cannot say whether men do actually suffer more than women, or if men just tend to complain more. Dan: Let’s hear from this British couple about whether they think ‘man flu’ is real or not. Man: Men definitely do suffer a lot more, I think, than women do when we get flu. Woman: Yeah, I’m not so convinced. I feel like they just complain more. Woman: I was ill recently and I just carried on and went to work and everything. And when Chris had got sick recently he was on the sofa and couldn’t really do anything, so… Dan: And it seems that it’s not just in the UK. Listen to this BBC Journalist interviewing a woman from Europe. BBC Journalist: You’re from the Netherlands. Have you ever accused your boyfriend of having man flu? Dutch woman: Oh, absolutely yes. Yeah. BBC Journalist: What have you accused him of doing? Dutch woman: …whining? Neil: Whining is when someone complains repeatedly and often in an annoying way about something. So, there certainly seems to be something there but nothing has been proven, right? Dan: Well, a recent scientific study has indicated that there could be something to ‘man flu’ after all. Doctor Kyle Sue, an assistant professor of family medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, has suggested that there could be a difference between men and women when it comes to respiratory diseases. Neil: Respiratory meaning related to breathing. He says that there was already a lot of evidence from existing studies suggesting men experience worse, longer-lasting symptoms. Dan: Symptoms are the feelings of illness caused by a disease. Listen to him explain why this is. Dr Sue: It seems that the higher the testosterone levels, the lower the immune response to these types of infections, whereas the higher the oestrogen level, the stronger the immune response. Neil: Testosterone and oestrogen are hormones that exist in both men and women. Testosterone is higher in males and oestrogen is higher in females. Dr. Sue’s research suggests that the more oestrogen a person has, the better able they are to fight off the infection. That’s it then! Man flu is real! Dan: Hold your horses, Neil. There are two problems. First of all, the Royal college of GPs in the UK says that there is no such thing as ‘man flu’. And secondly, even Dr Sue admits that these results, including his own, are only ‘suggestive’ and are not ‘definitive’. Neil: So, basically he’s saying that there is a suggestion that ‘man flu’ exists, but the evidence so far cannot say for sure. Dan: Exactly. More studies need to be done. But you know what we can be sure about? The answer to this week’s quiz question. I asked you in a survey conducted by Nuts magazine that asked its readers how long they took to recover from a cold or flu, where women put an average of 1.5 days, what did men put? a) 1 day b) 2 days or c) 3 days Neil:And I said 3 days. Dan:And you were right! Neil :Good! Dan: The men said they took twice as long to recover! Neil: It must be all that manly testosterone. Let’s review our vocabulary, shall we? Dan: Our first was the sniffles. If you have the sniffles, you have a cold, informally speaking. What’s the best cure for the sniffles Neil? Neil: Stay in bed and sweat it out, my mum always said. Just make sure you have lots of tissues to deal with your runny nose. That’s when a person’s nose leaks mucus, usually because they are ill. Yuck! Dan: Next we had soldier on. This phrasal verb means to continue despite difficulty. When was the last time you had to soldier on, Neil? Neil: A few days ago when I went the whole day without eating any lunch! Then we had ‘man flu’. That’s is the name given to the situation where a person, often a man, tends to complain and exaggerate a small illness such as a cold. Do you do that, Dan? Dan: I’m sure my wife would say I do! Next we had whining. If you whine, you complain repeatedly and often in an annoying way. Neil: Like my children did last time I didn’t buy them ice-cream. And finally we had symptoms. These are the feelings of illness caused by a disease. What are the symptoms of flu, Dan? Dan: A headache, aching muscles, and a fever. And that’s the end of this 6 Minute English! Don’t forget to check out our YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. There you made it. You can collapse now. Neil: Bye. Dan: Bye!

30 Comments

  • Reply men men December 28, 2017 at 11:19 am

    thanks a lot

  • Reply Marcelo Victor December 28, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Verry nice

  • Reply Marcelo Victor December 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    It's a helping me a lot

  • Reply Abubaker hawas December 28, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Absolutely useful Thanks very much

  • Reply Mirghani Hamza December 28, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I when I suffer from sniffles its really about three days?
    I stand with man flu.

  • Reply Tri Nguyen Thanh December 28, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    sorry, is the man in the picture Dan???

  • Reply Hadies Fakher December 28, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    thanks a lot

  • Reply Wanderson David December 28, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    I love Dan's laugh lol 😀

  • Reply Juan Humberto Cueto Cabrejos December 28, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks for the videos BBC, they're all helping me to improve my English.

  • Reply MilanAlo December 28, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Dan
    Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Dan, and joining me today is Neil. Hi Neil.

    Neil
    Hi, everyone!

    Dan
    Bless you! Are you ok?

    Neil
    I think I’m coming down with something serious.

    Dan
    It’s just a case of the sniffles. 

    Neil
    The sniffles is an informal way of saying a cold or flu. It comes from the sniffing sound people make when they have a runny nose.

    Dan
    And a runny nose is when liquid mucus keeps leaking from our nose – usually when we are sick. I’m afraid you’ll just have to soldier on Neil.  

    Neil
    To soldier on means to continue despite difficulty. I’m dying! What’s it about anyway?

    Dan
    It’s about ‘man flu’, and whether it’s actually real, or just something men like to complain about. We'll give you 6 words and expressions – and, of course, our quiz question.

    Neil
    Alright, fire away.

    Dan 
    In a survey conducted by Nuts magazine that asked its readers how long they took to recover from a cold or flu, where women put an average of 1.5 days, what did men put?

    a) 1 day

    b) 2 days

    c) 3 days

    Neil
    I’m going to say 3 days. The threat of ‘man flu’ is real.

    Dan
    Well, we’ll find out later, but let’s clarify. ‘Man flu’ is the tendency that many people believe men have to complain about a minor illness, such as a cold or flu, and act as if they were suffering from something a lot more serious.

    Neil
    Yes. But science cannot say whether men do actually suffer more than women, or if men just tend to complain more.

    Dan
    Well, let’s hear from this British couple about whether they think ‘man flu’ is real or not.

    Vox
    British Man
    Men definitely do suffer a lot more, I think, than women do when we get flu.

    British Woman
    Yeah, I’m not so convinced. I feel like they just complain more.

    British Man
    It wipes me out.

    British Woman
    I was ill recently and I just carried on and went to work and everything. And when Chris had got sick recently he was on the sofa and couldn’t really do anything, so…

    Dan
    And it seems that it’s not just in the UK. Listen to this BBC Journalist interviewing a woman from Europe.

    Vox
    BBC Journalist
    You’re from the Netherlands. Have you ever accused your boyfriend of having man flu?

    Dutch woman
    Oh, absolutely yes. Yeah.

    BBC Journalist
    What have you accused him of doing?

    Dutch woman
    …whining?

    Neil
    Whining is when someone complains repeatedly and often in an annoying way about something. So, there certainly seems to be something there…but nothing has been proven, right?

    Dan
    Well, a recent scientific study has indicated that there could be something to ‘man flu’ after all. Doctor Kyle Sue, an assistant professor of family medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, has suggested that there could be a difference between men and women when it comes to respiratory diseases.

    Neil
    Respiratory meaning related to breathing. He says that there was already a lot of evidence from existing studies suggesting men experience worse, longer-lasting symptoms.

    Dan
    Symptoms are the feelings of illness caused by a disease. Listen to him explain why this is.

    Doctor Kyle Sue,
    Memorial University, Newfoundland
    It seems that the higher the testosterone levels, the lower the immune response to these types of infections, whereas the higher the oestrogen level, the stronger the immune response.

    Neil
    Testosterone and oestrogen are hormones that exist in both men and women. Testosterone is higher in males and oestrogen is higher in females. Dr. Sue’s research suggests that the more oestrogen a person has, the better able they are to fight off the infection. That’s it then! Man flu is real!

    Dan
    Hold your horses, Neil. There are two problems. First of all, the Royal college of GPs in the UK says that there is no such thing as ‘man flu’. And secondly, even Dr Sue admits that these results, including his own, are only ‘suggestive’ and are not ‘definitive’.

    Neil
    So, basically he’s saying that there is a suggestion that ‘man flu’ exists, but the evidence so far cannot say for sure.

    Dan
    Exactly. More studies need to be done. But you know what we can be sure about? The answer to this week’s quiz question. I asked you in a survey conducted by Nuts magazine that asked its readers how long they took to recover from a cold or flu, where women put an average of 1.5 days, what did men put?

    a) 1 day

    b) 2 days

    c) 3 days

    Neil
    And I said 3 days.

    Dan
    And you were right!

    Neil
    Good!

    Dan
    The men said they took twice as long to recover!

    Neil
    It must be all that manly testosterone. Let’s review our vocabulary, shall we? 

    Dan
    Our first was the sniffles. If you have the sniffles, you have a cold, informally speaking. What's the best cure for the sniffles Neil?

    Neil
    Stay in bed and sweat it out, my mum always said. Just make sure you have lots of tissues to deal with your runny nose. That’s when a person’s nose leaks mucus, usually because they are ill. Yuck!

    Dan
    Next we had soldier on. This phrasal verb means to continue despite difficulty. When was the last time you had to soldier on, Neil?

    Neil
    A few days ago when I went the whole day without eating any lunch! Then we had ‘man flu’. That’s is the name given to the situation where a person, often a man, tends to complain and exaggerate a small illness such as a cold. Do you do that, Dan?

    Dan
    I’m sure my wife would say I do! Next we had whining. If you whine, you complain repeatedly and often in an annoying way. 

    Neil
    Like my children did last time I didn’t buy them ice-cream. And finally we had symptoms. These are the feelings of illness caused by a disease. What are the symptoms of flu, Dan?

    Dan
    A headache, aching muscles, and a fever. And that’s the end of this 6 Minute English! Don’t forget to check out our YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. There you made it. You can collapse now. 

    Neil
    Bye.

    Dan
    Bye!

  • Reply tgchan December 29, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Thank you, BBC.

  • Reply Phương Hoàng December 29, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Hi guys. I really want to improve english. Please, Can you help me.

  • Reply Aung Myo Htet December 29, 2017 at 7:40 am

    As always, really informative.

  • Reply Ju Oliveira December 29, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Great! Helpful! Thanks!

  • Reply ednei silva December 29, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    The Best app in the World!

  • Reply Nhi Lê December 30, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Oh, when I suffer from sniffles is really about over 3 days.

  • Reply sudhir chaturvedi December 30, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Please write the words you teach in the description … It will be very useful

  • Reply Zeyi Cheng January 2, 2018 at 4:16 am

    helpful! nice learning experience

  • Reply José Lago January 4, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    These podcasts are perfects to learn english… I hear one everyday. Thank's, BBC!

  • Reply Truc Vu Nguyen January 6, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Thank you so much for the helpful lesson

  • Reply 쩌리 January 8, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    always be the best lecture for esl students. Thanks for your service !

  • Reply Asuncion Diez Arce January 8, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks a lot,for spreading all these videos program so succefully for everyone who wants to learn English language

  • Reply Sonia Mand nice January 21, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Meaningful……..

  • Reply Dariusz D January 22, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Does Neil really has the flu?

  • Reply Noor Saad January 31, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    How do I zoom in

  • Reply M M February 1, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Subtitle?

  • Reply Maryam. Sh April 9, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Hello and Thank you so much . It is definitely useful, pleas help me to improve my english speaking. And I try to find someone who be a native speaker in order to practice english . Best regard Maryam

  • Reply anh duc April 8, 2019 at 2:14 am

    thank so much

  • Reply Merik Polymer April 19, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Dan's voice is so delicious…drive me crazy

  • Reply Muhammad Zohaib June 18, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    very informative info

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