“I have got a headache” or “I have got headache”?

Headache is always treated as a countable noun, and is therefore preceded by “a”. You cannot say, “I have got headache”. In British English, all other “aches” stomachache, toothache, backache, etc. – can be treated either as countable or uncountable nouns. The use of “a” is therefore optional. “Renu has had a toothache all night.” It is also possible to say, “Renu has had toothache all night.”

The Hindu- ‘Know Your English’ Series, June 7, 2004


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