There're 3 stages of a cold: a

Stage 1: You have a bit fever and some sneezes

Stage 2: You cough a lot and have a runny nose

Stage 3: You cough less and less and the cold will be over in a few days.

Is it correct that we can only say "I am getting sick" in stage 1, but not 2 and 3?

Similarly, when do we say "I am getting hungry". Say, normally you have dinner at 6pm but now is 7pm and you start to get some feeling of hungriness and you say "I am getting hungry".

But say now is 10pm and you haven't been eating anything since afternoon. The state of hungriness lasts for about 3 hours from 7pm to 10pm.

Is it still correct to say "I am getting hungry" now (10pm)?

  • 1
    If it was four hours past my dinnertime, I would be saying "I'm really hungry!", not "I'm getting hungry", which suggests that the hunger is only starting to develop. Oct 28, 2020 at 9:32

2 Answers 2


"I am getting hungry" and "I am getting sick" are subjective phrases, there aren't really defined rules around them. In casual conversation, you might say "I'm getting hungry" even if you've been hungry for a while, because it might just flow better in your brain. If you want to be as accurate as possible, it's up to you and your situation. Do you feel hungry? Do you feel sick? Or do you just feel an onset of being hungry/sick? Defined rules aren't necessary, nor do they exist.


"I am getting a cold" means that the cold is developing but is not yet fully developed. "I have a cold" suggests that it is fully developed.

I"I am getting a degree" implies t6hat one is taking courses or studying for the degree, but has not earned it yet. "I have a degree" means it has already beed awarded.

"I'm getting tired" means t6hat fat6igue is developing, but not yet fully present, as opposed to "I am tired."

In general "I am, getting X" describes a current process not yet complete.

However, colds do not come in such definite stages as the question suggests, and "getting" does not imply anything more specific than "not yet complete". This is an example of false precision.

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