Say It Better! Series. C1 Advanced Season. Episode 2

Health and illnesses

If you set your heart on successfully taking the C1 Advanced exam as well as taking much more care of your wellbeing, this new episode is for you. 

In case you are a newcomer to our series, don’t miss out on our preliminary part  as well as on our first episode from the C2 Advanced season.

Are you ready? Here we go!

Say It Better! Series
C1 Advanced Season
Episode 2
Topic vocabulary

Translate and/or write the definition. Make sure while looking them up in the dictionary, you look for the episode-related meaning. The multitude of meanings of one single English word is beautifully surprising, don’t you think so?


  • Allergic (to)
  • Fattening
  • Resistant (to)
  • Severe (symptoms)
  • Splitting (headache)
  • Undernourished
  • Wholesome (food)

Phrases, collocations & idioms:

  • Avoid contact with
  • Catch every cold going
  • Fall ill (with)
  • Failing eyesight
  • Have a side effect (on sb/sth)
  • In agony
  • Lose weight
  • Physical exertion
  • Physical fitness
  • Resistant to
  • Slip of the mind
  • Undergo an operation (on sth)

(Phrasal) verbs:

  • Break/come out in a rash
  • (A disease) breaks out
  • Bring on (a heart attack)
  • Bring sb round
  • (An illness) clears up
  • Come down with
  • Come through a serious illness
  • Come up with (a cure)
  • (Pain) eases off
  • Fight off
  • Pass on (an illness)
  • Pass out
  • Pick up (an illness)
  • Relieve (pain)
  • Safeguard
  • Stem from
  • Take out
  • Throw up
  • (The effects of a drug) wear off


  • Balanced diet
  • (A sneezing) fit
  • (Preventative) measure
  • Running sore
  • Wellbeing

Often confused words:

  • heal, cure & treat
  • recall, remember & remind
  • contagious, venomous & infectious
  • blister, bruise, fracture & sprain


Word formation

Download the PDF and complete the table with the missing words. Using the dictionary is a must to look up for the correct spelling and add more words to the table.













Speaking paper

Step One: Read the questions. Make changes to the answers provided. Use the TOPIC language. Check below each answer some key-language to be used in order to improve the answers. What other useful expressions could you use?

Step Two: Write your own answer. Use the TOPIC language.

Step Three (optional): Record yourself while answering the questions. Send your answers to your English teacher for assessment and feedback.

Part 1

Question: “What complaints and injuries have you suffered?”

Answer: “Since I’ve been doing athletics for around 7 years, I have got injured several times. I remember more than once I’ve had a sprained ankle, then I’ve bruised my thighs and knees. I’ve recently had torn ligaments. It has hurt so much, it’s been unbearable. My coach gave me an ointment to sooth the pain, and it did magic after a while, the pain became less intense. But in the end, I ended up in hospital. It was more serious than I thought. I was operated and for almost 3 months had to walk on crutches. Well, being injured is part of the territory if you are doing sports.”

Key-language: in agony, relieve, ease off, undergo an operation

Question: “How would you express your attitude to diet and health?”

Answer: “Personally, I consider myself quite sensible in terms of health and diet. I understand that my health and happiness are closely connected to, and depend, as well, on what I eat on a daily basis. For this reason, I try to have healthful meals and avoid food that contains a lot of fat. It’s better to prevent than cure, isn’t it? The cause of many illnesses lies in how controlled our diet is. For this reason, I’d rather take care of myself every day than become ill.”

Key-language: wellbeing, fall ill, stem from, wholesome, balanced diet, fattening, balanced diet

Part 4

Question: “Search for health advice on the internet is becoming a popular topic and online medical consultation is in great demand. What is your opinion?”

Answer: “It is true that these days, more and more people seek for a doctor’s advice online. The reasons are obvious, like avoiding long queues in the hospital, or being on hold for minutes while trying to contact your doctor. So, they rarely go to the doctor’s, and instead, they look for health advice on the internet in different forums or simply email their symptoms to an online doctor. As far as I’m concerned, I would never do it. Let’s suppose that one day I see some spots on my skin. How could an online doctor tell me what the problem is and besides prescribe a treatment if there are so many things to take into consideration which need a face-to-face appointment? Only in a doctor’s office can the doctor get accurate information based on which a treatment would be given. The doctor need to know whether I suffer from any allergies, if the spots on the skin are infectious, what the reason could be, as well as have access to my medical history to make sure the treatment will not have negative results on my health.”

Key-language: side effects, come up with a cure, allergic to, come out in a rash, diagnose, pass on

Reading and Use of English quiz

Part 1

Decide which answer best fits the gap.

After the patient was diagnosed, the doctor prescribed her analgesics to help … the pain.

a. heat

b. cure

c. relieve

d. lighten

Part 2

Think of the words which fit the gap.

The patient had a splitting headache and the pain got worse when the effects of the anaesthetic started to wear … .

Part 3

Use the word given in CAPITALS to form a word that fits the gap.

All the prescribed medicine aims to correct … in our body. BALANCE

Fancy two more Part 3-related questions to get the golden medal ;)?  You’re not afraid, aren’t you?

  1. Unfit and … folks have decided to exercise every day and join in a marathon to get into shape. WEIGHT
  2. When the … diminished, I was capable of going on running again.” SORE

Part 4

Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence, using the word given. Do not change the word. You must use between three and six words.

Unfortunately, we don’t have enough information about what this disease is caused by.
Unfortunately, little is ________________ from.

Part 1: c. relieve

Part 2: OFF



Topic word cloud

I’ve prepared another word cloud for you. It includes all the HEALTH & ILLNESSES topic vocabulary. Feel free to download and print it. Its usefulness outweighs the beauty of how a word cloud could look in our imagination :).

Now that you’ve worked with today’s topic vocabulary, you might already know what you’ve got to do. Without looking at the TOPIC list above, write down, in around 4 minutes, as many words and expressions related to the theme of HEALTH & ILLNESSES as you can remember. Why 4 minutes? The very first step in the Writing paper, once you’ve carefully read the question in Part 1 and Part 2, and underlined the key-words, you must brainstorm and write down all theme-related language you can think of that refer to the given exam questions. So, have a go now and write all the HEALTH & ILLNESSES one. Once you’ve done it, check which expressions from the list have been left out. Why don’t you copy them! Remember the proverb? 

Qui scribit, bis legit!

Don’t spare any little effort to go an extra mile. Believe me, it’s worth it, and you do deserve the best result in the C1 Advanced exam.

Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!

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