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Douleur vs peine vs souffrance?

Can anyone explain the differences among them please?

September 26, 2017



Maybe this will help :

douleur = pain, ache ; physical

peine = sorrow, sadness ; mental

souffrance = suffering ; physical or mental, with a great intensity

Here are some examples :

J'ai mal au bras = J'ai une douleur dans le bras (''I have a ache in the arm'')

Tu me fais de la peine (''you are making me sad'')

Cette maladie me fait beaucoup souffrir (''This disease make me suffer a lot'')

J'ai souffert quand elle est morte (''I suffered a lot when she died'')

Beware that "peine" can also mean "effort" : tu te donnes beaucoup de peine = you are putting a lot of effort in this. But it is not necessarily negative, it just says that you are spending a lot of energy. For example is it is your birthday and you are baking a wonderful cake for 4 hours for your friends, they could tell you "tu t'es donné beaucoup de peine" !


Thank you so much, Jeanne!. So can we say that "souffrance" is the broader term among them and could include the other two in meaning? .. since you said it can be "physical or mental" and since we may "suffer" from any kind of pain whether it's physical or mental?

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