Unmissable French Verb
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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 be missed by 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
- Expressions with manquer
- Direct objects
- Indirect objects
- Negative adverbs
- Regular -er verbs
- Subject pronouns
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