Spring is here and it’s wonderful to have warm weather again. But the downside of spring is that it is allergy season. I have been sneezing and blowing my nose every five seconds because of the new flowers and freshly cut grass. What do you say in your culture when somebody sneezes? Do you know what we say in English? If I sneeze you say :’Bless you!’ And I say: ’Thank you.’ The full expression is ’God bless you!’ But most people today simply say ’Bless you!’ It doesn’t matter if you are religious or not. This is the customary response when someone sneezes. It also doesn’t matter what relationship you have with the person. Whether it’s a formal or informal relationship, we still say ’Bless you!’ when somebody sneezes. You may find it interesting where this expression came from. I was always taught that there used to be a belief when a person sneezes there’s a chance that the soul could leave the body. So we say ’Bless you!’ to the person who sneezes because we don’t want them to lose their soul. We want them to keep it. In any case it’s still good to know this expression. So the next time you hear somebody sneeze, say ’Bless you!’ and you should hear ’Thank you!’.
Now if your sneeze is very loud and it causes some kind of interruption it’s appropriate to say ’Excuse me.’. You don’t have to wait for somebody to say ’Bless you!’.
I hope you found this interesting. Remember: Learning a language is not just knowing grammar and vocabulary and the like. It’s also learning the culture.
Thanks for watching. Happy studies!
Can you finish the sentences based on the text?
1. If you are allergic to something you usually ………… a lot in spring.
2. In English if somebody sneezes you say: …………..
3. The expression originates from the full expression: ……………
4. The response for ’Bless you!’ is: ……………..
5. If your sneeze causes an interruption it’s appropriate to say: ……….
6. There used to be a belief that the …….. could leave the body when somebody sneezed.
7. When you learn a language it’s important to learn the ……….. as well.
2. Bless you!
3. God bless you!
4. Thank you!
5. Excuse me.