General Question

Carol2017's avatar

Is contracted or caught correct?

Asked by Carol2017 (9points) April 1st, 2017

I have a cold. Is contracted a cold or caught a cold correct English, or something else?

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11 Answers

Stinley's avatar

Caught a cold is more normal. Contracted in this sense is more formal.

janbb's avatar

^^ Agree

Carol2017's avatar

Thank you so much for the prompt answer. When would the formal be appropriate?

Brian1946's avatar

The formal might be more appropriate in conjunction with a formal description of the event.

For example: I contracted a rhinoviral infection.

However, I think even doctors usually use the informal description, especially when dealing with patients.

Medical professionals might use formal language when interacting with other med pros or medical students.

Strauss's avatar

Most of the times I’ve seen “contracted” used is in more formal literature, such as medical or scientific journals. I’ve also seen it used in older literary pieces, novels, short stories, etc.

Carol2017's avatar

Thank you everyone. I truly appreciate your explanations. It is so important me, to use proper English.

Jeruba's avatar

I would also use “contracted” for something that you don’t catch (i.e., it isn’t contagious, which is what “caught” implies); for example, I would say that someone caught a cold, but contracted diabetes.

Rarebear's avatar

They’re both fine.

rojo's avatar

I contracted the flu.

I caught that damned hog that was tearing up the property.

(would it make sense for me to have contracted the hog?)

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Strauss's avatar

^^Only if it was swine flu!

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