How many “aches” are there in English?
Can you name them all? 
Keep reading to be sure you remember them all. 


All the Aches

We usually say there are five aches in English. 

  1. backache – usually a pain in your lower back
  2. earache – a dull or sharp pain deep inside your ear
  3. headache – pain in the head often caused by eye strain, stress, drinking or about a million other things
  4. toothache – pain in a tooth usually caused by cavities so remember to brush! 
  5. stomachache – pain in the stomach sometimes caused by eating too much or a lot of other sicknesses 

There are actually two more to look out for and they might be the worst. 

heartache – All the other aches describe physical pain. And although you might physically feel heartache, it does not mean you have anything physically wrong. This, is emotional pain – the kind you feel when you’re going through a breakup. 

And finally, we often talk about general aches and pains. You know, after a hard day, or maybe when you’re getting older, you just feel pain all over your body. It can be weak or strong but it’ definitely real. 

Those are all nouns of course but you could also use “ache” as a verb or adjective though we usually use “hurt”. 

– Oh my aching back! (adjective)
– My whole body ached for a week after running the Spartan race. (That’s true.) 

Below are some of my illustrations of the many aches. Enjoy.

Scroll to Top