Are these expressions common and appropriate?

I have to fix my cold.

This medicine can fix your hay fever.

  • 2
    One of the two options in the following would be more common and appropriate: "I have to get {over / rid of [CHOOSE ONE]} my cold". – user264 Mar 15 '13 at 11:07

I would label those sentences as an informal use of the word fix.

A native speaker might use the word fix when talking about an illness or condition, but I think it would be considered a rather informal (if not humorous) use of the word. Fix is usually applied to something more mechanical, such as an engine, or abstract, like a problem.

Conversationally, someone might say:

I need to get over my cold.

A more formal word might be remedy:

This medicine can remedy your hay fever.

although I think remedy is more likely to be seen as a noun:

This medicine would be the best remedy for your hay fever.

Off the top of my head, the verb I'd probably recommend for most day-to-day use would be treat:

I have to treat my cold. This medicine can treat your hay fever.

One of the key differences between treat and fix (or cure) is that, with treatment, there's not necessarily a guarantee that the condition will be ultimately remedied – you can treat a cold unsuccessfully, and still have the symptoms linger.

  • 5
    "I have to cure my cold" sounds strange because there is no cure for the common cold. I would talk about getting better, personally. – snailplane Mar 15 '13 at 10:26

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