request more clarification on idiomatic example phrase

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Kwiziq community member

17 February 2019

3 replies

request more clarification on idiomatic example phrase

This is a sample sentence from this lesson: 

J'ai de plus en plus de mal à me concentrer.

I understand the more and more part.  As a student, without the translation, I would not have come up with I'm struggling more and more to focus.   I was seeing this as ... I have (more and more) pain myself to concentrate.  Is there a lesson on avoir mal a that talks about struggling?  If so J'ai de plus en plus de mal avec cette example! :)

This question relates to:
French lesson "De plus en plus de and de moins en moins de = more and more and less and less (comparisons of nouns)"


Kwiziq language super star

18 February 2019


Hi Robin, 

I understand your frustation, as 'avoir mal à' and 'avoir du mal à' sound very similar but have very different meanings -

The expression is:

Avoir du mal à faire quelque chose To have difficulty in doing something


Docteur! j'ai du mal à respirer = Doctor! I have difficulty breathing


Docteur! J'ai mal au genou Doctor! My knee hurts

Bonne continuation!






Kwiziq community member

18 February 2019


Thank you very much for this excellent explanation!


Kwiziq community member

1 March 2019


Yes du mal = struggling to

J’ai du mal à comprendre 

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