"I have fear of falling" makes sense? It is a 'natural' translation for spanish and portuguese, at least
In English, some people say "have a fear of", but the far more common expression for "avoir peur de" is "to be afraid of". Even though it literally looks like we would have to work "have fear" into the English, you are encouraged to use natural English. Consider these other expressions using "avoir".
- J'ai vingt ans = I am twenty (years old) -- not "I have twenty years".
- J'ai faim = I am hungry -- not "I have hunger"
- J'ai froid = I am cold -- not "I have cold"
- J'ai besoin d'une pause = I need a break -- not "I have need of a break"
- J'ai envie d'aller au cinéma = I feel like going to a movie -- not "I have a desire to go to a movie"
- Tu as raison = you're right -- not "you have reason"
Check this link for more expressions using "avoir": https://www.thoughtco.com/french-expressions-with-avoir-1368646
Introduced to a new word and none of the options given say it means falling!
The difficulty is that in French the use of afraid is not the same as in English. The translation word to word would be afraid to fall. Tomber=fall not falling
In this section on infinitives, you will find other occasions where the infinitive is translated quite naturally using the gerund in English.
Like "I have fear of falling". That was my first thought. I did get the Duo translation right but I was wondering if anyone else was thinking of this instead. Just curious.
Certainly it's natural to see it that way if we're still looking at "j'ai peur de...." in a literal way. It is not unheard of, in certain contexts, to say "I have a fear of..." (the article is required in that sense). But we come to understand that the natural counterpart of the French expression is "I'm afraid of ...." Open this link in a browser: http://www.wordreference.com/fren/avoir%20peur%20de
Just "falling" will suffice. Choose the natural English expression which is a counterpart to the French "J'ai peur de tomber" = I am afraid of falling. No "down" is necessary. http://www.wordreference.com/fren/avoir%20peur%20de
Doesn't "J'ai" mean "I have"? It wouldn't make much sense to say "I have am afraid of falling"
"Avoir peur de" is how the French say "to be afraid of". So it is not a literal translation. Use the natural counterpart of that expression in English. "I'm afraid of falling" (or) "I'm afraid to fall".
Yes me too, I wrote -- I have fear of falling! Yes, an article should be there, so, a fear of...