Unmissable French Verb
The regular -er French verb manquer means "to miss," which seems straightforward enough, and yet it causes no end of confusion due to a strange turnaround it requires in a certain construction.
Manquer + direct object
To miss = to fail to be at/in/on something
|Tu vas manquer le train !||You’re going to miss the train!|
|J’ai manqué la première réunion.||I missed the first meeting.|
Manquer de + direct object
To lack something
|Il manque de respect envers son chef.||He lacks respect for his boss.|
|Cette salle manque d’ambiance.||This room lacks ambiance.|
This construction can also be used with a noun: un manque de respect, un manque d’ambiance, etc.
Manquer de + verb
To fail to do something, to not do something that was expected. In this construction, manquer is a semi-auxiliary verb.
|J’ai manqué de faire le dîner.||I didn’t make dinner.|
|Paul a manqué d’aller à l’école.||Paul failed to go to school.|
This construction is most commonly used in the negative to mean "to be sure to" – literally, "to not fail to":
|Ne manque pas de les remercier.||Be sure to thank them.|
|Ne manquez pas de visiter le musée.||Be sure to visit the museum.|
To miss someone or something (emotionally), to be aware that something is missing.
In French, the subject of the sentence is the person or thing who is missed, and the preposition à precedes the person or thing who is doing the missing and feeling the lack.
|Fabienne manque à Pauline.||Pauline misses Fabienne.||Fabienne is missed by Pauline.|
|Pauline manque à Fabienne.||Fabienne misses Pauline.||Pauline is missed by Fabienne.|
Manquer à is particularly tricky when pronouns are used for both the misser and the missee, as they are reversed in the two languages: in French, the indirect object misses the subject pronoun.
|Tu me manques.||I miss you.||You are missed by me.|
|Est-ce que je te manque ?||Do you miss me?||Am I missed by you?|
|Elle nous manquait.||We missed her.||She was missed by us.|
|Nous lui manquions.||She missed us.||We were missed by her.|
|Vous allez leur manquer.||They’re going to miss you.||You are going to be missed by them.|
|Ils vont vous manquer.||You’re going to miss them.||They are going to be missed by you.|
- Manquer conjugations
- Direct objects
- Indirect objects
- Negative adverbs
- Regular -er verbs
- Subject pronouns
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