How to Say “I Miss You” in French: Master Manquer with This Heartfelt Phrase
It’s not hard to fall in love with the French language, and it’s even easier to fall for a French-speaking country.
Whatever the situation is, you’ve found yourself swept up by passion for someone or something that’s far away.
If that’s the case, there’s arguably no expression as important as this one: “I miss you.”
So let’s dive in and learn how to say this essential, emotionally-charged phrase.
- How to Say “I Miss You” in French
- How to Say “I Miss You, Too” in French
- Awesome Alternatives to Manquer: Other Ways to Say “I Miss You” in French
- How to Practice Saying “I Miss You” in French
- And one more thing...
How to Say “I Miss You” in French
Saying “I miss you” in French uses the French verb manquer, which comes from the Italian mancare, meaning “to be lacking something.”
The most basic way to say “I miss you” in French is:
Tu me manques (I miss you)
In English, the object of “I miss you” is “you.” However, in the French “Tu me manques,” the object is me (me). This is because the French phrase tu me manques translates literally into “you are missing from me.”
We can use this information to create our own visualization trick: From now on, each time you want to express “I miss you” in French, picture the other person as being “missing from you” or “lacking from you.”
Pronouncing “I Miss You” in French
In addition to providing audio pronunciations, I’ve also included phonetic transcriptions from the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet, a standardized set of phonetic symbols) so that you can pronounce “I miss you” like a pro!
Most commonly, you’ll encounter “I miss you” using tu, the informal singular form of “you”:
Tu me manques [ty-mə-mãk]
By its very nature, the statement “I miss you” is an intimate one, so you’re less likely to use it with the formal vous in the singular.
However, that doesn’t mean you’ll never hear it. And since vous is also used to say “you” to more than one person (even on informal terms), you might want to say “I miss you” to a group of people you know well:
Vous me manquez [vu-mə-mãke]
Choosing the Correct Pronouns to Say “I Miss You”
To express that you miss someone, you’re going to need a French subject pronoun to kick things off. Remember, this pronoun represents the person who’s being missed—or in other words, the person who you’re “lacking”:
Tu (you — informal, singular)
Vous (you — formal, or you — plural)
Now, you’ll need to identify the person who’s doing the missing. For this part, you take a French indirect object pronoun (think of it like the filling in the middle of a delicious sandwich, holding everything together):
Te (you — informal, singular)
Vous (you — formal, or you — plural)
Finally, you add the verb manquer! Remember that the conjugation must agree with the subject pronoun you used at the beginning. Let’s look at some examples:
Je te manque (you miss me)
Ils me manquent (I miss them — masculine/mixed males and females)
Tu lui manques (she/he misses you — informal/singular)
Il me manque (I miss him/it)
Saying “I Miss You” in Different Tenses
Mastery comes with practice and you may need to deepen your knowledge of French verb tenses and pronouns before this becomes clearer to you. I’m going to stick to the informal singular form of this expression, tu me manques, to keep things simple.
The main thing to remember is that whatever tense we find ourselves in, the pronouns don’t change (phew!):
Tu me manques (I miss you — present tense)
Tu m’as manqué (I missed you — perfect tense)
Tu me manquais (I missed you/I used to miss you/I was missing you — imperfect tense)
Tu me manqueras (I will miss you — simple future tense)
Expressing How Much You Miss Someone
Of course, as in English, a simple “I miss you” in French may not be enough to express your level of feeling.
In this case, you can simply add an adverb to modify manquer:
Tu me manques tellement (I miss you so much)
Tu me manques beaucoup (I miss you a lot)
Tu me manques déjà (I miss you already)
Tu me manques un peu (I miss you a little/a bit)
How to Say “I Miss You, Too” in French
Ready to be thrown another curveball?
The positive response to this statement is also reversed! So while in English we’d say “I miss you too,” once again you have to think of it in terms of “you are missing from me too.”
In French, this is:
Toi aussi, tu me manques (I miss you, too.)
Tu me manques, toi aussi (I miss you, too.)
Awesome Alternatives to Manquer: Other Ways to Say “I Miss You” in French
If you’re a bit fed up with manquer or just want to spice things up, there are other ways to express “I miss you” in French that state this feeling implicitly:
J’ai hâte de te voir ! (I can’t wait to see you!)
J’ai envie de te voir (I feel like seeing you)
Sans toi, je suis pas bien (Without you, I’m struggling)
Je veux être là avec toi (I want to be there with you)
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How to Practice Saying “I Miss You” in French
Listen to Popular Music
As an obvious choice for love songs, the expression tu me manques (I miss you) is a common sight in francophone lyrics and song titles.
Listening to these, such as “Tu me manques” by Canadian-Belgian singer Lara Fabian, is a good way to instill an emotional connection with this expression and get used to how it sounds. This, in turn, will help you to reach for it instinctively when you’re feeling a similar way.
Hear Native Speakers Use This Phrase
There’s no better way to learn than straight from native French speakers, themselves. Paying attention to how native speakers use this phrase and how they use it is vital. You can learn the different social cues surrounding it and also acquire proper pronunciation.
You’re bound to hear this phrase several times in French romance movies.
If you want to hear more about the French for “I miss you,” you can listen to this episode of the French Your Way podcast, which goes more in-depth about it.
Use Online Tests and Exercises
If you’re a kinesthetic learner, practice tests and exercises can be beneficial, especially when it comes to making sense of the grammar and syntax associated with manquer.
Make use of the internet to improve your handle on “I miss you” in French. You can start with this great exercise over at Study.com.
So now that we’ve gone over the basics, it’s time for you to put what you’ve learned into practice. Now that we have to say goodbye after this lengthy article, there’s just one more question to ask:
Will you miss me?
And one more thing...
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