How To Express Physical Pain in French = Avoir Mal (À)

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 immediately test your knowledge on how to express physical pain in French
  • how to express physical pain in French Anki files can be downloaded.

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

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.

Test Your Knowledge on How to Express Physical Pain in French

It’s not enough just to read the article on this lesson.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and do them.

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

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

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.

Anki File for How to Express Physical Pain in French

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French A1 you can practice every French A1 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

At this moment the Anki File for this lesson doesn’t exist yet. However, in due time this will be available on Language Atlas.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or don’t know how to use Anki or merge Anki files please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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