How to Talk about Injuries & First Aid

How to Talk about Injuries & First Aid

Look at the pictures below. Do you know the words for what they show? Place the mouse pointer on the pictures…

Make sure you know the meanings of the words in bold:

Injury Explanation
I’ve injured my knee by running too much. to injure /ˈɪndʒə(r)(noun – injury /ˈɪndʒəri/) – to hurt a part of your body, often in an accident
He had a knife wound, and was bleeding badly. Wound /wuːnd– an injury , especially a cut or a hole (to wound – the verb)

To bleed (bled; bled) – to lose blood /blʌdfrom the wound

She cut her hand and will need stitches. Stitch – a short piece of thread that is used for joining someone’s skin together after it has been cut
I fell over and grazed my knees on the path. To graze – to break the surface of your skin, for example, when you fall to the ground (noun – graze: to have a graze on sth.)
I sprained my wrist playing tennis. To sprain – to injure a joint (= a place where 2 bones meet) with a sudden movement
She twisted her ankle. To twist – to injure a part of your body, especially your ankle, wrist or knee, by bending it in the wrong direction
I pulled a muscle lifting a suitcase. To pull/strain a muscle – to injure a muscle
She had her arm in a sling. Sling – a band of cloth you tie round your neck to support an injured arm or wrist
Mary had a fracture in her leg. Fracture – a broken bone (adjective – fractured)
She suffered from severe/minor burns. Burn – a serious injury on your body caused by heat or fire
How did you get that bruise on your arm? Bruise /bruːz– a blue or brown mark that appears on your skin after you have been hit (to bruise sth. – the verb). A bruise on your eye is a black eye.
The cat scratched his face badly. To scratch – to cut or damage your skin with something sharp (scratch – the noun)
These shoes gave me blisters on my heels. Blister – a small painful area of skin that looks like a bubble full of liquid


Listen to three people talking about a medical problem they had recently. What was the problem? Where did they get help? What was the treatment? (See the answer key at the bottom of the page)


The audio file origin: (Cambridge) Vocabulary for First Certificate

Useful vocabulary:

  • To have a sore throat
  • To be covered in spots
  • To make an appointment at the hospital
  • Surgery (British English) –  a place where people can visit a doctor or a dentist.  (American Englishoffice)
  • To give/get a prescription for antibiotics /ˌæntibaɪˈɒtɪk/
  • To clear up – if an illness clears up, or if something clears it up, you stop being affected by it
  • To take sb. up to the casualty department/A&E (accident and emergency) = emergency department/ward/room
  • To send sb. for an X-ray
  • To put a bandage on sth. – to put a long thin piece of cloth that you wrap around an injured part of your body
  • To fall over – to fall to the ground
  • To call an ambulance
  • To put sb. on a stretcher
  • My arm is in plaster (British English) –  a thin piece of cloth or plastic that is sticky on one side, and that you put on your skin to cover a cut (American English – Band-Aid)
  • Physiotherapy /ˌfɪziəʊˈθerəpi/ – the treatment of injuries using special physical exercises


To clean a wound, you will need cotton wool and antiseptic /ˌæntiˈseptɪk/ lotion. Bathe the wound thoroughly /ˈθʌrəli/. Cover it with a plaster or use a clean dressing (a piece of material put over a wound to protect it) to prevent infection. Hold the dressing in place (in the correct position) with a bandage.

If a part of the body is swollen (larger or rounder than usual), put some frozen peas wrapped in a towel on it to reduce the swelling.

For bee stings (the pain that you feel when an insect, animal, or plant stings you, or the mark on your body where this happens), remove the sting (the sharp part of an insect’s or animal’s body that it can push into your skin) with tweezers, then put some antihistamine /ˌæntiˈhɪstəmiːncream on it.

To treat a burn effectively, first place it under cool running water for 15 minutes.

Answer key:

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 9.45.01

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s