Here’s a little grammar for your Tuesday, two very common words that simply need to be used in the right direction: Nauseated and Nauseous.

Nauseated (passive participle)
To be feeling, or having been caused to feel nausea. To be affected with nausea.
Ex: Susan was feeling sick to her stomach. She was very nauseated.

Nauseous (adjective)
Causing nausea; sickening
Ex: Stanley tells jokes about really gross things. He’s a nauseous jokester.

photo-3Thus, the correct way to say that you feel like you’re going to throw up is to say, “I feel nauseated.”

Now, to say, “I feel nauseous,” means, “I feel like I’m making all of you sick, that I’m the cause of your nausea.”

Directionally mind boggling, right? But so simple! We don’t even have to discuss the semantics of the passive participle vs. the adjective because it starts to weigh everyone down. (Though, staging a theoretical duel might be fun. Boundless Descriptive Adjective vs. the Shifty Passive Participle… En garde!) Okay, I’ll stop.

But, the next time a friend says to you, “Man, was I sick yesterday! I was so nauseous…” Try not to laugh. And please stop yourself from saying, “Really? How many people were sickened by you?”

Blog fans, let us go forth, unafraid, this and every flu season, because we get this rule right.

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