La pharmacie

How to say what's wrong and ask for a remedy


J'ai mal à l'oreille
J'ai mal au ventre
Vous avez quelque chose ?

The verb avoir (to have) is very helpful for talking about ailments. Apart from using it to say you have a problem or pain (j'ai un problème, j'ai une douleur). The expression avoir mal à helps you to be more specific.


The part of the body that's giving trouble goes after the à :

j'ai mal à la gorge.
I have a sore throat.

If the painful part is a masculine word like le dos you have to say au :

j'ai mal au dos.
I've got backache.

If it's plural, like les dents, you have to say aux :

j'ai mal aux dents.
I've got toothache.

The present tense of avoir (I have, you have etc) is :

j'ai, tu as, il/ elle/ on a, nous avons, vous avez, ils ont.

J'ai quelque chose pour vous.
I've got something for you.
Vous avez un problème ?
Have you got a problem?
J'ai un gros rhume.
I've got a heavy cold

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