A cough sounds like this: (*cough). A cough helps to remove irritants from the respiratory system.

In these sentences, "cough" is a verb:

coughcough, cough

  • He’s coughing because he’s sick.
  • She started to cough because she swallowed a fly.
  • Dennis coughed up some blood this morning, so they brought him to the hospital.
  • I have to make an appointment with a doctor because I can’t stop coughing.

In these sentences, "cough" is a noun:

  • He has a bad cough.
  • You should see a doctor about that cough.
  • The conductor of the orchestra got angry because of all the coughing during the performance.

You can also use "cough" as an adjective:

  • Cough syrup helps reduce the effects of a cold.
  • Cough drops help if you have a sore throat.
  • Robitussin is strong cough medicine.

"Cough it up" is a popular expression in English. It means to hand something over to another person, especially money:

  • If you owe money to the I.R.S.,* you’d better cough it up or pay a penalty.
  • Most of us were able to cough up a few bucks to help the man buy a train ticket.

* I.R.S.: Internal Revenue Service. This is the U.S. government agency that collects tax money from citizens.

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April 3, 2013