Writer’s Confusion #3 – Nauseous vs. Nauseated

Right. So. Welcome to Writer’s Confusion #3. Today we are going to talk about the difference between nauseous and nauseated. I’ve used this incorrectly before myself, so this is a good lesson for me. This is one of those ‘not so important’ rules that you might only come up against a few times in your writing (or verbally speaking in the real world). But it is always nice to know rules right?

Nauseous: nauseous means ‘sickening to think about’

Nauseated: nauseated means ‘sick to my stomach’ (or ‘sick to your stomach’, or his/her/their)

So if you’ve ever said, “I’m feeling nauseous.” then you what you are really saying is that you feel like you are making everyone around you sick just thinking about you. You make them feel nauseated just thinking about you.

Well, that’s about it for this lesson. It’s pretty easy if you can remember the difference between the two!


BONUS LESSON: the word unique

Unique means “without equal” or “unlike anything”. There should be no modifiers (degrees) preceding the word.


It was the most unique car ever sold.

should be

The unique car was sold. (If this sounds clunky to you, you are probably not alone. But it is the correct way to write it. It could also be written as: The car that was sold was unique. / It was a unique car and it was sold. but the latter one sounds even more clunky)


His magic tricks were very unique.

should be

His magic tricks were unique.


Of all locusts, the kind that doesn’t hatch for seventeen years is the most unique.

should be

Among locusts, the kind that do not hatch for seventeen years is unique.

Simple stuff, unless you, like me, sometimes have bad habits.

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