aches and pains


Senior Member
The thread "aches and pains" has been already created before by someone else but only the difference between "aches" and "pains" was discussed in the case of body aches/pains. Can the phrase "aches and pains" regard to inward sufferings?
The sentence:
When I got back to my flat I threw off my clothes and dived into the shower. It soothed away the aches and pains, I flopped into bed and fell fast asleep.
was said by young, healthy woman, not ill but with some serious business problems.
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    It seems to me, KTM, that aches and pains are just too physical-sounding a thing to be used in this way. In your sentence I would automatically understand it to mean physical aches and pains. And if you specified as in It soothed away the mental aches and pains ... well, that just sounds a bit ... odd. Pain (though not pains) on its own would be okay, as would a host of other words ...


    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Aches and pains can refer to minor physicial problems like sore muscles caused by sitting too long in front of a computer. The phrase doesn't have to refer to serious medical problems.

    I think your sentence is fine.

    EDIT: I should clarify that your sentence is fine if you're talking about physical aches and pains. We don't use that expression to describe emotional pain.


    Senior Member
    English - United States
    When I got back to my flat, I threw off my clothes and dived into the shower. It soothed away the heartache and sorrow, and I flopped into bed and fell fast asleep.
    I agree with the others. You're talking about pain, but it's inward. This is one way I would expess your goal. When you want to talk about emotional pain and the accompanying ache, think of nouns and adjectives that go with feelings. Just saying aches and pains keeps it in the physical realm.



    Senior Member
    English, United States
    I think it's fine, but it does not refer to inward states unless you make explicit, like in ewie's example. I would suggest that you refer this for physical pain, since it is a cliché. I think it would awkward to try to make it apply to non-physical pain.

    Thanks for the question.
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