When you are talking to a patient as a doctor or while asking a friend what is the difference between "have you got a runny nose?" and "Is your nose running?". How do you choose which one to say/ask?


2 Answers 2


You might have a "runny nose" (which means that, as a result of a cold or nasal infection, you tend to have lots of liquid mucus) but right now your nose isn't running (no liquid is dripping from your nose). A runny nose might last for a few days. But your nose won't be running for all the time.

The solution to a running nose is to use tissue or a handkerchief.

The solution to a runny nose might be to carry a handkerchief, or you might use a decongestant or try steam inhalation.


A runny/running nose is producing or discharging more mucus than usual.

It is better to say/ask 'Have you got a runny nose?

'Runny' is more common.

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