How to describe a cough or cold in Spanish

Spanish varies a lot from country to country. Get help for your cough, flu or sickness using the right phrases for Uruguay and Argentina.
By Karen A Higgs
cold and cough in spanish uruguay
Last updated on June 2, 2022

Spanish varies a lot from country to country. The word you learned in Mexico may be completely impossible to understand –or indeed laughable– here in Uruguay.

Here are some useful expressions to help you describe your cough and/or cold while you are in Uruguay, so that you can get some decent medication, medicinal teas and sympathy.

Uruguayan-Spanish vocabulary for coughs and colds

  • Where can I find a pharmacy? – Donde hay una farmacia? (Pronounce it, far-MAH-see-ah)
  • Where can I find a natural remedy store? – Donde hay una yuyeria? (people will totally think you are from Uruguay) Pronounce it, zhoo-zheh-REE-ah
  • I have a cold – Tengo un resfrio (res-FREE-oh)
  • I have flu – Tengo gripe (GREE-pay)
  • I have a runny nose – Tengo muchos mocos (literally, I have lots of snot. Obviously an informal expression, but you will totally communicate your predicament)
  • I have a (bad) cough – Tengo (mucha) tos
  • I have a chesty cough (with lots of mocos!) – Tengo catarro
  • I have a sore throat – Tengo dolor de garganta
  • I have a fever – Tengo (mucha) fiebre (fee-EB-ray)

In this video, I’ll take you through how to pronounce each phrase a la uruguaya:

To inform yourself with more insights into the peculiarities of the Uruguayan accent and vocabulary, check out the Guru’Guay Guide to Montevideo.

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