Manquer (To Lack, Miss) Meaning, Usage, Example Sentences

manquerThe French verb manquer can cause a lot of confusion as it has many meanings. The verb itself translates to “to lack”. However, the verb is used in a wide variety of instances, such as ‘tu me manques’ or ‘I miss you’. On this page we’ll look at its various usages with several example sentences.

manquer de + noun

Manquer de + noun means to lack.

  • Je manque d’argent. I lack money.
  • Cette soupe manque de sel. This soup lacks salt.
  • L’employé manque d’experience. The employee lacks experience.

manquer à quelqu’un

Manquer à quelqu’un means to miss a person. This is the one that causes all the confusion. The underlying rule is the person who is lacking is being missed. In the sentence, “tu me manques”, you “lack” to me. Hence, this translates to I miss you. The question, “Est-ce que je te manque?” would translate literally to “Am I missing to you?” or “Do you miss me?

more examples:

  • Mes copains me manquent. I miss my friends.
  • Elle manque à son mari. Her husband misses her.
  • Le papa manque à son fils. His son misses his dad.

manquer à quelque chose

Manquer à quelque chose means to fail to keep something.

par example:

  • Il manque à sa prole. He fails to keep his word.
  • Elle manque à ses promesses. She fails to keep her promises.

manquer + noun

Manquer + noun means to miss. Synonyms include rater and louper.

par example:

  • Il a manqué le train. He missed the train.
  • Elle a manqué l’avion. She missed the plane.
  • Nous avons manqué nos amis d’une heure. We missed (seeing) our friends by one hour.

il me manque

Another usage of manquer is the impersonal expression “il me manque”, literally “it lacks to me”. This is a roundabout way of saying, I’m missing or I need.

par example:

  • Il me manque une dent. I’m missing a tooth.
  • Il me manque un document pour completer la demande. I’m missing (need) one document to complete the application.
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