Tips and Examples: How to Say “I Have Diarrhea” in French

Bonjour! If you find yourself in France or any French-speaking country and urgently need to communicate that you have diarrhea, it’s important to know the right words and phrases. In this guide, we will provide both formal and informal ways to express this uncomfortable situation, along with some practical tips and examples. Our aim is to help you navigate through various scenarios while maintaining a warm and friendly tone. So, let’s get started!

Formal Expressions

In more formal situations, especially when speaking to individuals you are not familiar with, it’s essential to use polite and restrained language. Here are a few options:

“Excusez-moi, j’ai la diarrhée.”

This straightforward phrase simply means, “Excuse me, I have diarrhea.” It is an acceptable and concise way to communicate your discomfort.

“Je suis désolé(e), mais je souffre de diarrhée.”

Translated as, “I am sorry, but I am suffering from diarrhea,” this expression adds a note of apology, which can be helpful in formal settings.

Informal Expressions

In more casual situations, like when talking to friends or family, you may prefer to use less formal, everyday language. Here are a couple of expressions to consider:

“Désolé(e), mais j’ai la chiasse.”

This phrase is a colloquial and slightly vulgar way of saying, “Sorry, but I have diarrhea.” It may not be suitable for all audiences, so use with caution.

“Je suis malade du ventre, j’ai la diarrhée.”

Translated as, “I am feeling sick in my stomach, I have diarrhea,” this expression is more descriptive and casual.

Additional Tips for Communicating Your Condition

While knowing the appropriate phrases is essential, understanding some additional tips and examples can further enhance your ability to navigate through different situations. Here are some insightful suggestions:

1. Non-verbal Cues

If you are in a public place or perhaps don’t feel comfortable explicitly stating your condition, you can use non-verbal cues to express your discomfort. For instance, clutching your stomach, making a grimace, and politely requesting to use a restroom can help convey your message without uttering a word.

2. Seek Medical Assistance

If your condition persists or worsens, it’s important to seek medical assistance. In this case, it may be helpful to know how to express your symptoms more explicitly. Here’s an example:

“Je souffre de diarrhée sévère depuis plusieurs jours, pouvez-vous m’aider?”

This translates to, “I have been suffering from severe diarrhea for several days, can you help me?” It’s crucial to describe the severity and duration of your symptoms to ensure you receive appropriate medical attention.

3. Be Mindful of Cultural Sensitivities

French-speaking countries have different cultural sensitivities, and discussions about bodily functions can sometimes be regarded as less appropriate or embarrassing. Therefore, it is recommended to use formal expressions, especially among individuals you are not acquainted with, to ensure you maintain the proper decorum.

4. Accessing Restrooms

If you are in need of a restroom, it can be useful to know some common phrases to ask for directions, such as:

“Où se trouve les toilettes, s’il vous plaît?” (Where are the toilets, please?)

Understanding these phrases can come in handy when you urgently need to relieve yourself and are unsure of where to find the nearest facilities.

5. Useful Vocabulary

Lastly, expanding your vocabulary related to digestive health can be beneficial. Here are a few words and phrases that might be useful:

  • Diarrhée – Diarrhea
  • Ventre – Stomach
  • Digestion – Digestion
  • Mal au ventre – Stomachache
  • Maux de ventre – Stomach pains
  • Médecin – Doctor
  • Pharmacie – Pharmacy

By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you can better express your symptoms or understand any advice or instructions you might receive.


Voilà! You are now equipped with the knowledge and phrases to express the uncomfortable situation of having diarrhea in French, whether in formal or informal settings. Remember to adjust your language based on the formality of the situation and be mindful of cultural sensitivities. Additionally, incorporating non-verbal cues, seeking medical assistance when needed, and expanding your vocabulary will help you navigate through various scenarios. We hope this guide has been helpful and that you’ll be able to communicate your needs effectively! Bonne chance!

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