Ep10: I've caught a cold | Guá khì kuânn--tio̍h 我去寒著

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Bite-size Taiwanese | Elementary
Ep10: I've caught a cold | Guá khì kuânn--tio̍h 我去寒著

In this episode, we’ve learned some useful phrases about catching a cold or the flu. Also, we introduced you to one of many usages of the word “tio̍h”.

These show notes use tables and rich formatting. Please visit the episode webpage for an optimal viewing experience.)

khuànn i-sing to see a doctor
Lí tsuè-kīn kám ū khah hó? Are you feeling better lately?
Ū khah--ah. I'm feeling better now.
kám-mōo common cold or flu; to catch a cold
liû-hîng kám-mōo / liû-kám the flu
kuânn--tio̍h to catch a cold
kuânn cold (when talking about weather or an environment that feels cold)
Guā-kháu tsiok kuânn. It’s really cold outside.
líng cold (when talking about things that have a cold temperature)
Lí ê tshiú tsin líng! Your hand is really cold!
tsìng-thâu symptom
nâ-âu thiànn sore throat
nâ-âu ngiau / nâ-âu ngiau-ngiau itchy throat
sàu / ka-sàu to cough
khuh-khuh-sàu to cough multiple times or continuously
sat-phīnn to have nasal congestion / stuffy nose
lâu-phīnn / lâu phīnn-tsuí to have a runny nose
phah-kha-tshiùnn to sneeze
kuà tshuì-am to wear a mask
thuân-jiám to be contagious, to infect, to go around
huat-sio to have a fever
sio hot (things that have a high temperature); to burn
jua̍h hot (weather or an environment that feels hot)

*Syllables that have been greyed out require a tone change


In this episode, we learned one common usage of the word “tio̍h”, which on its own has a meaning of “to get”, “to hit” or “to hit the mark.” If you suffix --tio̍h to a verb, it means the action achieved or attained a result. For example:

kuânncold, to be cold

Guá khì kuânn--tio̍h.I got a cold.

There are many verbs that can be suffixed with “--tio̍h”. Here are some more examples:

jua̍h--tio̍h to be hot + --tio̍h → to get heat stroke
siūnn--tio̍h to think + --tio̍h → to think of, to come up with
kóng--tio̍h to speak + --tio̍h → to speak about/of something
khuànn--tio̍h to look + --tio̍h → to see, to catch sight of
ioh--tio̍h to guess + --tio̍h → to guess right/correctly
sio--tio̍h to burn + --tio̍h → to get burned, to get a burn

If the “verb + --tio̍h” is at the end of a phrase or sentence, it’s in the neutral tone. Yet if there is an object that comes after, it usually follows the regular tone changes. Compare these two examples:

(1) “I siūnn-tio̍h in bóo.He thought of his wife.

(2) “Tsit hāng tāi-tsì, i bô siūnn--tio̍h.He did not think about this issue.

To learn more about this grammar point or ways to talk about illness or your health condition, check out our workbook. It also gives you some additional vocabulary, culture and grammar explanations, and great exercises to reinforce what you’ve learned in this episode.


In this episode, we’ve talked about catching a cold and runny noses. Our One Bite Challenge this week is related to runny noses.

Ài-suí m̄ kiann lâu-phīnn-tsuí.

Literally, it’s something like “for one’s looks, not being scared of having a runny nose.”

It’s used to describe someone (usually a female) that might show a little skin to look good, such as wearing mini skirts or not wearing coats, even when the weather is cold enough for people to put on more clothes. It often has some kind of jokey or teasing tone.

Let’s break down the sentence:

ài-suí to want or care about looking pretty
kiann to be not scared or afraid of
lâu phīnn-tsuí to have a runny nose

Music Credit: TeknoAXE

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