How To Express Physical Pain in French = Avoir Mal (À) [+11 Examples & Quiz]

how to express physical pain in french

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In this grammar lesson you will learn how to express physical pain in French.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how to express physical pain in French in a general sense
  • how to express physical pain in French for a specific body part
  • how to express physical pain in French is used in sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on how to express physical pain in French
  • how to practice with flashcards on how to express physical pain in French
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn French

Please refer to the French A1 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about this fits in French A1.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about how to express physical pain in French!

Table of Contents

How to Express Physical Pain in French in a General Sense

You can express physical pain in a general sense.

When I say in a general sense, I mean that you are not mentioning a specific part of your body.

You will use the following idiom for that.

  1. avoir mal = to hurt

The literal meaning is “to have pain”.

J’ai mal!

It hurts!

Je n’ai pas mal.

It doesn’t hurt.

Il n’a pas mal.

He’s not hurt.

He is not in pain.

Avez-vous mal?

Are you hurt?

Are you in pain?

As you can see, there’s no specific part of the body mentioned.

How to Express Physical Pain in French for a Specific Body Part

You can also express physical pain for a specific body part.

You will use the following idiom for that.

  1. avoir mal à [partie du corps] = to be hurt at [a specific body part]

J’ai mal à la gorge.

I have a sore throat.

My throat is sore.

Tu as mal à la tête ?

Do you have a headache ?

Does your head hurt ?

Il a mal à l’oreille.

He has an ear ache.

His ears hurt.

Elle a mal aux oreilles.

Her ears hurt.

Nous avons mal au cœur à cause de la mauvaise nourriture.

We feel sick because of the bad food.

[avoir mal au cœur is not heartache, but feeling sick/nauseous]

Avez-vous aussi mal aux dents ?

Do your teeth hurt as well?

Parfois, ils ont mal aux yeux.

Sometimes their eyes hurt.

Please go over the contraction lesson, if you need a reminder on how à + le and à + les contract into au and aux.

Also, check out avoir conjugation if you are having difficulties with conjugating avoir.

Examples Sentences with How to Express Physical Pain in French

The final section of this lesson on how to express physical pain in French is about seeing the idiom in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding on how to express physical pain in French through examples.

J’ai mal!

It hurts!

Je n’ai pas mal.

It doesn’t hurt.

J’ai mal à la gorge.

I have a sore throat.

My throat is sore.

Tu as mal à la tête ?

Do you have a headache ?

Does your head hurt ?

Il a mal à l’oreille.

He has an ear ache.

His ears hurt.

Il n’a pas mal.

He’s not hurt.

He is not in pain.

Elle a mal aux oreilles.

Her ears hurt.

Nous avons mal au cœur à cause de la mauvaise nourriture.

We feel sick because of the bad food.

[avoir mal au cœur is not heartache, but feeling sick/nauseousness.]

Avez-vous aussi mal aux dents ?

Do your teeth hurt as well?

Avez-vous mal?

Are you hurt?

Are you in pain?

Parfois, ils ont mal aux yeux.

Sometimes their eyes hurt.

Quiz Yourself on How to Express Physical Pain in French

At the end of every lesson you can do a small quiz.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want.

Fill in the Blank!J’ la gorge.

I have a sore throat.

My throat is sore.
Fill in the Blank!Il mal.

He’s not hurt.

He is not in pain.
Fill in the Blank!Parfois, ils yeux.

Sometimes their eyes hurt.

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our French A1 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 3,764 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for French A1.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

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