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Nauseous v. nauseated

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I'm reading a book written in the 1980s, where one of the characters makes a big deal out of the distinction between nauseous and nauseated.

I DO know the difference. If I'm sick to my stomach, I'm "nauseated," but if I make you drink something horrible, I could describe the drink as a "nauseous" concoction. (At least, I think that's the difference.)

But do people still make this distinction? Seems to me they use these two words interchangeably these days.

Grammar police--what do you think?
#1 - August 15, 2017, 02:57 PM
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 10:30 PM by Betsy »
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You've stumbled onto a huge pet peeve of mine. Lots of people use nauseous when they should use nauseated, but I don't think it's because the words are interchangeable. They're just wrong.  :gaah
#2 - August 15, 2017, 03:07 PM
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I see your point. I guess I'm asking this: if everyone gets it wrong, doesn't that count for something? Isn't that how words change?
#3 - August 15, 2017, 03:30 PM
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I don't know if I'm right or wrong, but when I specifically refer to my stomach, I'll say, "My stomach is so nauseated" (for example).
But if I'm talking about my overall state of being, without mention of my stomach, I'll say, "I feel nauseous"

ETA: Right or wrong, I think at this point they are used so interchangeably that it's a distinction without a difference
(*hides from grammar police*  :hiding)
#4 - August 15, 2017, 03:42 PM
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 03:44 PM by Jayca »

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I don't know if I'm right or wrong, but when I specifically refer to my stomach, I'll say, "My stomach is so nauseated" (for example).
But if I'm talking about my overall state of being, without mention of my stomach, I'll say, "I feel nauseous"

ETA: Right or wrong, I think at this point they are used so interchangeably that it's a distinction without a difference
(*hides from grammar police*  :hiding)

Not to be the grammar police, but that's not right.

You feel nauseated because the dog left a nauseous mess on the floor and you have to clean it up.
#5 - August 15, 2017, 04:37 PM
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You feel nauseated because the dog left a nauseous mess on the floor and you have to clean it up.

This. A substance that is nauseous causes a person to feel nauseated.

These have been wrongly used for a long time, though. Since official pronouncement of interchangeable status hasn't happened yet, maybe it won't.
#6 - August 15, 2017, 05:06 PM
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Not to be the grammar police, but that's not right.

That's okay, I knew the grammar police would get me, LOL!
#7 - August 15, 2017, 05:27 PM

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So, nauseous=disgusting
and nauseated=feeling sick to your stomach   
#8 - August 15, 2017, 05:29 PM

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Something that is nauseating makes you nauseous or nauseated. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nauseous

Your dictionary may vary, but Webster's has updated to accept common usage. The online Oxford appears to have updated as well. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/nauseou Language is always evolving.
#9 - August 15, 2017, 06:18 PM

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When someone says they're nauseous (but mean they are feeling nauseated) I just nod and try to be sympathetic and even agree with them because this is a pet peeve of mine.
#10 - August 15, 2017, 06:39 PM
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if everyone gets it wrong, doesn't that count for something? Isn't that how words change?

It IS how words change, but you don't have to participate in it.

eta: That's meant to be the collective "you" and not aimed at the OP!
#11 - August 15, 2017, 07:11 PM

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Now that I think about it, I don't mind if nauseated and nauseous are interchangeable, but the two that really get me riled up are:

riffled vs rifled

#12 - August 15, 2017, 10:23 PM
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 10:34 PM by Betsy »
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Or people who say their curiousity was peeked instead of piqued...
#13 - August 16, 2017, 09:20 AM

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Or people who say their curiousity was peeked instead of piqued...

Or the even more subtle difference -- their curiosity was peaked.
#14 - August 16, 2017, 10:02 AM
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Oh, right! I'd forgotten about that one. That one bothers me too.
#15 - August 16, 2017, 10:20 AM
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When someone says they're nauseous (but mean they are feeling nauseated) I just nod and try to be sympathetic and even agree with them because this is a pet peeve of mine.
Just making sure I'm on your same wavelength, Vijaya. So you're saying--when the person says they're nauseous, you agree because their saying it makes you feel nauseated--is that right? Very clever! :naughty

#16 - August 16, 2017, 11:04 AM

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My differentiation is probably incorrect: nauseous means the person is feeling physically sick. It's the present tense and in first person. Nauseated is past tense and refers to someone feeling nauseous.

Speaking as a person who suffers epileptic I would usually use the term of feeling "nauseous" rather than nauseated. That's just a personal choice, regardless of whether it's correct grammar.
#17 - August 16, 2017, 11:18 AM

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Just making sure I'm on your same wavelength, Vijaya. So you're saying--when the person says they're nauseous, you agree because their saying it makes you feel nauseated--is that right? Very clever! :naughty

:hiding
#18 - August 16, 2017, 11:33 AM
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Just making sure I'm on your same wavelength, Vijaya. So you're saying--when the person says they're nauseous, you agree because their saying it makes you feel nauseated--is that right? Very clever! :naughty

Hmph. Ev's spin is much nicer than mine. For me, when somebody says they're nauseous, I go with who they are, not what they say, that brings up the nausea...  :whistle
#19 - August 16, 2017, 12:09 PM

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My differentiation is probably incorrect: nauseous means the person is feeling physically sick. It's the present tense and in first person. Nauseated is past tense and refers to someone feeling nauseous.

Speaking as a person who suffers epileptic I would usually use the term of feeling "nauseous" rather than nauseated. That's just a personal choice, regardless of whether it's correct grammar.

Technically, this is all a usage issue, not a grammar one anyway.

But there are lots of usage errors that get me unless they are purposely being used for humor.
#20 - August 16, 2017, 08:18 PM

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Yeah, nauseated means feeling sick, and nauseous means producing nausea. I used to live with a toxicologist, and it was an important distinction.

The new usage that drives me mad is "gifted." What happened to "gave"?
#21 - August 16, 2017, 09:11 PM
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Yeah, nauseated means feeling sick, and nauseous means producing nausea. I used to live with a toxicologist, and it was an important distinction.

The new usage that drives me mad is "gifted." What happened to "gave"?

So, does that mean I am correct or incorrect?
Gifted always makes me think of my cat and he has "gifted" several presents to me. Not good ones, unfortunately.
#22 - August 17, 2017, 08:34 AM

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So, does that mean I am correct or incorrect?

Thundering, the sewer produced nauseous fumes that made me nauseated. Does that help?
#23 - August 17, 2017, 09:27 AM
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Thundering, the sewer produced nauseous fumes that made me nauseated. Does that help?


A little.  Thanks, Dews.
#24 - August 17, 2017, 11:43 AM

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My nauseated head is still spinning, trying to deal with figuratively nauseously becoming  literally.
#25 - August 20, 2017, 04:48 PM

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