Under the Weather

man feeling under the weather
Type: Idioms and Phrases
Originally published on February 5, 2023 and last updated on August 1, 2023

“Under the weather” is an idiomatic phrase that is often used to describe someone who is feeling unwell and is very commonly used in the English language.

Idioms and phrases like this are important for English learners to practice because they are an integral part of the English language and are commonly used in everyday conversation. Understanding idiomatic expressions can help improve overall comprehension and make communication in English easier and more natural.

Review the meaning of the idiom or phrase with your students first to make sure they understand how to use it correctly, and then go through the different conversation questions. Ask them to try and include the idiom or phrase naturally in their answers.

Definition and Examples

“Under the weather” means to feel sick, to be feeling down, or to be feeling physically or mentally unwell.


“John has been under the weather for the past few days, so he decided to take a day off from work.”
“Jane has been feeling under the weather since yesterday and she thinks she might have a cold.”
“I’ve been under the weather lately and it’s affecting my work. I think I need to see a doctor.”
“After a long week of work, Mary is feeling a bit under the weather and needs a break.”
“The weather has been so unpredictable lately, and it’s making a lot of people feel under the weather.”

Conversation Questions

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  • Do you know anyone who has been under the weather recently?
  • When was the last time you felt under the weather?
  • What do you usually do when you're feeling under the weather?
  • Do you think being under the weather affects our mood?
  • Do you think it's necessary for people to take time off when they're feeling a bit under the weather?
  • Do you find your less productive at work when you're feeling under the weather?
  • Would you say it's better to take medicine when you're under the weather or let your body recover naturally?
  • Do you believe that people can get better faster by resting when they're under the weather?
  • What can be the consequences of not resting when feeling under the weather?
  • Should people avoid crowded places when they're under the weather to prevent spreading their illness?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.