Nauseated by the Nauseous

July 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Grammar, Mini-Lessons

Is this doggy nauseous or nauseated???

Is this doggy nauseous or nauseated???

It’s summer but that doesn’t mean Grading Girl doesn’t have time for a mini-lesson!  I can’t help it . . . when I hear a grammar goof, my wheels start spinning.  I was in a boutique the other day and couldn’t help but overhear a fellow patron in the next dressing room exclaim she was nauseous and needed the nearest bathroom.  Apparently, she had a rough pre-4th celebration.  Well, her demise is my opportunity – opportune moment for a mini-lesson, that is!  There is a fine line between these two sick depictions.  I know, I’ve made the same mistake but here’s the real deal, folks.  You can now be grammatically correct even when you’re feeling the need for some sidewalk pizza.  😉

Are you nauseous or nauseated?

Nauseous is an adjective that means causing nausea; sickening; disgusting; sickening to contemplate

Nauseated is a verb that means to feel nausea; become sick; sick at the stomach

Do not, therefore, say “I feel nauseous” unless you are sure you have that ill effect on others! I don’t think the dressing room girl made everyone else around her feel sick – she felt sick from something she did or ate; therefore, she was nauseated.

An example from the brilliant Dr. Seuss:

You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch.
With a nauseous super-naus.
taken from the lyrics of “Mr. Grinch”

GG’s examples:

“That leftover salmon dish is so nauseous that I don’t even want to walk near the kitchen.” (used as an adjective . . . in this case, the salmon dish does have the ill effect on others)

“It nauseates me to look at that disgusting picture.” (used as a verb . . . the picture makes me feel nausea)

  • Winsor Pilates

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