Avoir mal (à) = To be in pain, to hurt somewhere

Avoir mal

To express physical pain in French, you will use the expression avoir mal (literally "to have pain")

J'ai très mal!It really hurts!  

Elle n'a pas mal.She's not hurt.
She's not in pain.

Avoir mal à + [partie du corps]

When the pain is localised, you use avoir mal à + le/la/l'/les followed by the part of the body that hurts.

Remember that à + le and à + les contract in au and aux .

J'ai mal à la gorge.My throat is sore.
I have a sore throat.

Sophie a mal à l'oreille.Sophie's ear aches. 
Sophie has an earache.

J'ai mal aux dents.My teeth hurt.
I have a toothache.

ATTENTION:

The expression avoir mal au cœur  does not mean you're having a heartache or a heart attack, but that you're feeling sick, like you want to throw up. 

Mon frère a mal au cœur en voiture.My brother is car sick.

Case of œil and yeux :

Maurice a mal à l'œil.Maurice's eye hurts.

Roxane a mal aux yeux.Roxane's eyes hurt.

Note that the irregular plural of œil is yeux.

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Examples and resources

Maurice a mal à l'œil.Maurice's eye hurts.
Mon frère a mal au cœur en voiture.My brother is car sick.
Roxane a mal aux yeux.Roxane's eyes hurt.

avoir mal


Elle n'a pas mal.She's not hurt.
She's not in pain.
J'ai très mal!It really hurts!  

avoir mal à + body part


Il a mal à la tête.His head hurts.
He has a headache.
J'ai mal à la gorge.My throat is sore.
I have a sore throat.
Tu as mal au genou.Your knee hurts.
Sophie a mal à l'oreille.Sophie's ear aches. 
Sophie has an earache.
J'ai mal aux dents.My teeth hurt.
I have a toothache.
Tu as mal au ventre.Your stomach aches.
You have a stomach ache.
I'll be right with you...