Avoir du mal à / avec = To have trouble, to struggle to / with

Look at these sentences:

J'ai du mal à respecter mon régime.I struggle to stick to my diet.

Ils ont toujours du mal à finir leur repas.They always struggle to finish their meal.

Tu as du mal avec cet exercice de maths.You're having trouble with this math exercise.

Martin avait du mal avec la science à l'école.Martin used to struggle with science at school.

To express to struggle to [do something], to have trouble [doing something], in French, you use the idiomatic expression avoir du mal à + [infinitive].

You can also use avoir du mal avec + [noun] in order to say to struggle with [something], to have trouble/difficulty with [something]

The expression Avoir du mal never means to hurt, to ache nor can be used in the sense of fighting for [something].

Les femmes se battent pour leurs droits tous les jours.Women struggle for their rights every day.
 

Also not to be confused with Avoir mal (à) = To be in pain, to hurt somewhere

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Examples and resources

Ils ont toujours du mal à finir leur repas.They always struggle to finish their meal.
J'ai du mal à respecter mon régime.I struggle to stick to my diet.
Tu as du mal avec cet exercice de maths.You're having trouble with this math exercise.
Martin avait du mal avec la science à l'école.Martin used to struggle with science at school.

counter example


Les femmes se battent pour leurs droits tous les jours.Women struggle for their rights every day.
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