I am cold vs. I have a cold

B1- B1 B2 C1

WRONG: Do you have a tissue? I am cold.
RIGHT: Do you have a tissue? I have a cold.

This week’s mistake is an old classic and it’s surprising I haven’t covered it earlier.

To say ‘I am cold’ means that you need to put on more clothes, get a hot bath or turn the heating up in your flat. It does not mean you are ill.

If you have a runny nose (yes, not running nose remember!) or need to use a tissue all the time, you probably ‘have a cold’.

It is important to keep it in simple tense too. To say, “I am having a cold” – as I have heard a thousand times – is wrong. In this case, to have a cold is considered a statement of fact, not something in process, like when you say, “I’m having a bad day.” So it is this pure and simple – I have a cold.