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

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.