How to say “I miss you”: Italian grammar lesson 94

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Italian language tutor, course author. MEng, MBA. Member of the International Association of Hyperpolyglots (HYPIA). After learning 12 languages, I can tell you that we all master languages by listening and mimicking. I couldn’t find an app to recommend to my students, so I made my own one. With my method, you’ll be speaking Italian from Lesson 1.
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Ready to express longing in Italian like a local? Dive into our guide and master the art of saying “I miss you” with the verb mancare. You’ll learn the unique Italian twist that’ll have you sounding like a native in no time! 🇮🇹❤️

  • Flip the Script: Unlike English, the Italian mancare flips the subject and object. Say “Tu mi manchi” to mean “I miss you” – it’s like saying “You are missed by me”. 🔄
  • Conjugation is Key: Get the hang of mancare conjugations. Remember, it’s all about who’s doing the missing. “Io manco” means “I am missed”, not “I miss”. 🤔
  • Indirect Object Pronouns: These little words are crucial. “Mi manchi” is “I miss you”, where “mi” is the magic word for “by me”. Don’t skip ’em! 🎩✨
  • Adding Emphasis: Italians love drama. Amp up your missing with “tanto” for “a lot” or “troppo” for “too much”. Make them feel your yearning! 💔
  • Position Matters: Mix it up! Place the subject before or after mancare for emphasis. “Mi manchi tanto” or “Tanto mi manchi” – both scream “I really miss you!” 📣

How to say missing something or someone in Italian?

If you ever go to Italy and go back to your country, you’ll probably miss the food, weather, nightlife, coffee, and perhaps, your new Italian friends.

So, you’ll need to be able to express this in Italian.

In today’s lesson, you’re going to learn how to say I miss you.

Have a look at the examples below and see if you notice something different from English:

Tu mi manchi.

I miss you.

Ti manca l’Italia?

Do you miss Italy?

Ci mancano i nostri amici.

We miss our friends.

I miss in Italia

What is the difference between English and Italian?

In Italian, we use the verb mancare to say to miss but it behaves differently to the English verb “to miss”.

Just like the verb piacere (to like) behaves in a different way to its English equivalent “to like”. As you might have noticed in the examples above, this verb behaves backward.

Let’s use the first sentence as an example to analyze.

Tu mi manchi.

I miss you.

Basically, in Italian, the verb agrees with the subject (tuyou) and not with the indirect object pronoun (miI).

The subject of the sentence is who is missed, in this case, tu. The person who misses is the indirect object pronoun mi.

In English, the verb agrees with the subject too, but the subject is I, which in this case is the person who misses, unlike in Italian.

To miss in Italian

What is the conjugation of mancare?

We’re now going to have a look at the conjugation of the verb mancare. As we already said, the structure is different, so don’t focus too much on the translation.

We’re going to use translations like “I’m missed by X”, but take it as if it said, “X misses me”.

  • Io manco (I’m missed)
  • Tu manchi (You’re missed)
  • Lui/lei manca (He/She’s missed)
  • Noi manchiamo (We’re missed)
  • Voi mancate (You’re missed)
  • Loro mancano (They’re missed)

How to say I miss you Italian

How to use mi manchi?

Tu manchi, which translates both as you’re missed or miss you, is an incomplete sentence. You need a complement.

In Italian, we need an indirect object pronoun.

Let’s have a look at all of them:

  • mi: (by) me
  • ti: (by) you
  • gli/le: (by) him/ her
  • ci: (by) us
  • vi: (by) you
  • gli: (by) them

So you can complete the sentence by saying tu mi manchi, or just mi manchi, which translates as you’re missed by me = I miss you.

However, you don’t always need an indirect object pronoun. You might also find the name of someone.

In this case, you’ll notice the presence of the word a, which, in this case, means by.

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Here is an example:

Manchi tanto a Maria.

You’re missed a lot by Maria. = Maria misses you a lot.

Verb mancare explained

Practice with Quizlet

Here's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.

Mancare: examples

Now that you (hopefully) understand the difference between English and Italian, it’ll be easier to understand the complete structure.

Let’s have a look at some examples. We’ll give you literal translations together with translations that make more sense.

Mi mancano i miei amici.

My friends are missed by me. = I miss my friends.

Le manchi tanto.

You’re missed a lot by her. = She misses you a lot.

Mi mancate tanto.

You guys are missed a lot by me. = I miss you guys a lot.

Suo fratello le manca tantissimo.

His brother is missed so much by him.  = He misses his brother so much.

In general, Italians are known for being passionate. We like to emphasize, so, as you can see in the examples above, you might find the following words right after the verb mancare:

  • tanto (a lot)
  • tantissimo (so much)
  • troppo (too much)

Also, you might find the subject before or after the verb.

How to say I miss you in Italian

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FAQs on How to say “I miss you”: Italian grammar lesson 94

What is the verb to miss someone in Italian?

Learning the phrase "mi manchi" in Italian is highly recommended as it means I miss you. This expression is unique as it uses the verb "mancare" which is not commonly used in other conjugations or tenses.

What is "mi manchi molto"?

The phrase "mi manchi molto" in Italian translates to I miss you so much in English.

Italian word of the day
Vorrei un cappuccino, per favore.
I’d like a cappuccino, please.
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