How to Say “I Miss You” in German: 6 Ways Plus Customary Deutsch Responses
No matter what language you use, it’s essential to know how to express your yearning for someone’s presence, and for expressing how much you miss them.
In German, these expressions are typically quite short, which fortunately makes them easy to remember. But their brevity makes them no less poignant or meaningful.
Here are six simple, heartfelt ways you can say “I miss you” in German, plus traditional responses that can be offered in return.
- How to Say “I Miss You” in German
- Responding to “I Miss You” in German
How to Say “I Miss You” in German
1. Ich vermisse dich — I miss you
These three simple words are the most direct way to get your feelings across—no fluff or fetter.
Vermisse comes from vermissen (to miss), while the accusative pronoun dich (you) is used.
You can also add adverbs to further the sentiment, such as by saying Ich vermisse dich so sehr (I miss you so much).
Notice that the phrase’s structure is very similar to the English phrase “I miss you,” making it very easy to remember.
Here’s an example:
Sara, ich vermisse dich! Wann sehen wir uns wieder? — Sara, I miss you! When will we see each other again?
2. Du fehlst mir — I’m missing you
The verb used here is fehlen, which can take on slightly different meanings depending on the context. Here, it means “to lack” or “to be missing,” but it could also mean “to fail” or “to be mistaken.”
Poetically, though, the verb perhaps captures the “wrongness” that comes from someone’s absence.
Fehlen is also a dative verb, which means the thing being missed goes in the dative case. This is why you see du (you) at the start of the sentence and mir (dative of pronoun ich) following fehlst (which is conjugated to the du form). Translated very literally, du fehlst mir means “You are missing to me.”
Check out this example sentence:
Du fehlst mir, mein Schatz. Bleib sicher! — I miss you, my dear. Stay safe!
3. Ich wünschte, du wärst hier — I wish you were here
Since we’re discussing something imagined or wished for, the subjunctive II form is used here.
Firstly, you might be wondering why it’s the subjunctive wünschte and not just the present tense wünsche. Is the wishing hypothetical too?!
Fear not, your wishes are very real. With wünschen, you use the subjunctive form when talking about desires that are impossible or unlikely to be fulfilled. Whereas the reflexive sich wünschen is more used for immediate or realizable desires, almost like saying “I want” or “I’d like”.
Continuing on with the subjunctive fun, wärst is the du form of the verb wären (would be), which is the subjunctive II form of the verb sein (to be). The comma in the sentence is used to separate the two independent clauses: Ich wünschte and du wärst hier.
When pronouncing this phrase, pay special attention to those umlauts. The ü in wünsche is pronounced like “ooh,” and the ä in wärst is pronounced more like “eh.” Make sure you sound them out correctly so that the meaning of the phrase is clear.
Here’s an example:
London ist so wunderschön. Ich wünschte, du wärst hier. — London is so beautiful. I wish you were here.
4. Ich bin einsam ohne dich — I’m lonely without you
Here’s one that will pull heartstrings. You’re not just casually suggesting that you’d like someone to be around you—you’re feeling utterly isolated without them by your side.
The adjective einsam is formed from ein (one) and the suffix –sam, which turns nouns and verbs into adjectives. This is how einsam ends up meaning “lonely.”
Within this sentence, the adjective doesn’t get conjugated since no noun directly follows it. You may also say Es ist einsam ohne dich (It’s lonely without you).
It’s guaranteed that this honest expression will be sure to melt your loved one’s heart.
Here’s an example of this phrase in context:
Ich bin mit meiner Familie hier, aber ich bin einsam ohne dich. — I’m with my family here, but I’m lonely without you.
5. Ich kann es kaum erwarten, dich zu sehen — I can’t wait to see you
Here’s a way to add a hopeful, positive spin to your loneliness. If you’re expecting to make a return to your loved one, then express your excitement about the upcoming reunion.
You may be wondering, what’s the point of es (it) here? It’s required because it must be specified what exactly you can kaum (hardly) erwarten (to await) for: in this case, it would be dich zu sehen (to see you).
The es connects the two clauses together. Don’t forget to say it—not only will it be incorrect if you do, but it’ll be tough to say Ich kann kaum without stumbling.
Here’s an example:
Ich komme bald zurück. Ich kann es kaum erwarten, dich zu sehen. — I am coming back soon. I can’t wait to see you.
6. Ich denke an dich — I think of you
It may not be as straightforward as Ich vermisse dich, but the more bashful of us (including myself) may instead prefer this sincere, sweet expression.
Personally, I find that just saying “I miss you” tends to get me flustered or weepy. “I think of you” feels like a more snug expression that can fit more of my emotions: my sober loneliness, my happy reflections and my hope to see that person again.
An is a preposition that typically means “at” or “on,” but here, it functions more like “of.” It’s one of those tricksy dual-case prepositions that can take either the dative or the accusative case. In such cases where it’s being used to refer to cognitive thought, whether that’s memories or ideas, it’s always followed by the dative. Hence why it’s an dich and not
Here’s an example sentence:
Wenn ich weit weg bin, denke ich oft an dich. — When I’m far away, I often think of you.
To hear these phrases in context, search for one of them in FluentU‘s large German-language video library. There you’ll be able to hear these “I miss you” phrases spoken by native German speakers in context in authentic videos like movie trailers, news clips, vlogs and music videos.
Responding to “I Miss You” in German
Would you really say nothing if someone tells you that they miss you? Unless you want to break their heart, of course not! You’ll want to return the sentiment somehow.
Here are just a few simple ways you can respond to “I miss you.”
Ich vermisse dich auch — I miss you too
The classic response to Ich vermisse dich and likely the easiest one to remember.
All you have to do is add the adverb auch (also). You can make it even simpler by just saying Ich dich auch which translates to “I you also” — the verb vermissen will already have been specified so it can be dropped.
Du fehlst mir auch — I’m missing you too
The direct response to Du fehlst mir, again created by just adding auch.
While you could technically just say du mir auch, I recommend you just say the whole phrase with the verb.
Be careful not to say du mich auch, as that can be an offensive slang phrase when the context isn’t specified.
Ich fühle das gleiche — I feel the same
A response that likely works best with phrases like the last four in the previous list.
The verb used here is fühlen (to feel), not to be confused with fehlen (to miss). Gleiche can be a bit hard to pronounce—remember that there’s a bit of a “hiss” when sounding out ch.
Du kannst mich jederzeit anrufen — You can call me anytime
Modern technology has helped to lessen the impact of physical distance. Remind your loved one that, if it becomes too much, you’re always available via your phone, computer or tablet.
Anrufen (to call) is a separable verb. Its prefix an– is a preposition that shifts position during certain conjugations.
For example, if you’d like to be more commanding and implore someone to contact you, you can say Ruf mich an! (Call me!)
Near, far, wherever they are, your loved one deserves to know that you’re thinking of them.
Any of these simple phrases can help you communicate your feelings, so take the time to learn them in anticipation of a time in which you’ll be separated from someone for a while!
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