Manquer (à) = To miss someone/something emotionally

The verb manquer is often very troublesome for English speakers of French because its structure is reversed when it applies to emotions compared to events.

Look at these sentences with the verb manquer in an emotional sense:

Mon ancienne école me manque .
I miss my old school.

Jean lui manque.
She/he misses Jean

Il manque à ma soeur.
My sister misses him.

Je manque à Thomas.
Thomas misses me.

When using manquer in the emotional sense, you must reverse the structure so it is the person or thing that is lacking to you:

Tu manques à Lise.
Lise misses you.

-> It's not Lise misses you. anymore, but literally You are lacking to Lise.

Elle me manque.
I miss her.

-> It's not I miss her, but literally She is lacking to me.

Je lui manque.
He misses me.

-> It's not He misses me, but literally I am lacking to him.

Now the 'missed' person or thing become the one doing the action of 'lacking'.

Introducing the person who is missing someone, who is "lacking" someone

You either use manquer à + [name]:

Nous manquons à Patricia.
Patricia misses us.

Léo manque à ma sœur.
My sister misses Léo.

or indirect pronouns me/te/lui/nous/vous/leur before manquer :

Hélène leur manque.
They miss Hélène.

Mon chien me manque.
I miss my dog.

 

It is different when talking about missing an event or a train, or lacking something in a pragmatic way.
See Manquer (de) + thing = To miss / lack something


As for using indirect pronouns, see Me, te, nous, vous = Me, you, us, you (direct and indirect object pronouns) and Replacing people with lui, leur = him, her, them (indirect object pronouns)

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Jean lui manque.
She/he misses Jean


Nous manquons à Patricia.
Patricia misses us.


Ma mère me manque.
I miss my mum


Je manque à Thomas.
Thomas misses me.


Je lui manque.
He misses me.


Il manque à ma soeur.
My sister misses him.


Mon chien me manque.
I miss my dog.


Elle me manque.
I miss her.


Tu manques à Lise.
Lise misses you.


Hélène leur manque.
They miss Hélène.


Mon ancienne école me manque .
I miss my old school.


Léo manque à ma sœur.
My sister misses Léo.


Q&A Forum 11 questions, 25 answers

LizB2

Why Jacques lui manque vs. Jacques elle manque? I have so much trouble with these pronouns. Thanks!

Asked 3 months ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Jacques manque à Paul --> Jacques lui manque. -- He misses Jacques.

Jacques manque à Marie --> Jacques lui manque. -- She misses Jacques.

As you can see, the personal pronoun used for the female and male cases is the same, namely lui. Looking only at the French, you can't tell whether it's a she or a he, who is missing Jacques.

"Elle" would not be correct in this context, because elle is not the personal pronoun for an indirect object.

Elle manque à Sean. --> Elle lui manque. -- He misses her.

In this example, "elle" is the subject and not the personal pronoun for the indirect object.

Study well

LizB2

Thanks so much!

CécileKwiziq language super star

Just to add to Chris' excellent answer :

the only time you will use 'elle' apart from meaning 'she' as a subject pronoun is after a preposition , think of chez 

chez elle at her house

Take a look at the following Kwiziq lesson for these stress pronouns ( also known as emphatic/disjunctive pronouns -

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/common-uses-of-moi-toi-lui-elle-nous-vous-eux-elles-disjunctivestress-pronouns

Hope I don't confuse matters....

LizB2

Thanks for the additional information about when to use elle. 

Why Jacques lui manque vs. Jacques elle manque? I have so much trouble with these pronouns. Thanks!

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Why wasn’t my answer correct

Asked 3 months ago

What was the question and what was your answer?

Why wasn’t my answer correct

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Hello, this verb structure seems similar to plaire. Is there any reason plaire is not mentioned in this page? Just wondering. Merci beaucoup!

Asked 7 months ago

Yes, the constructions are in some cases parallel:

Ses nouvelles chaussures manquent à Lisa. -- Lisa misses her new shoes.

Ses nouvelles chaussures plaisent à Lisa. -- Lisa likes her new shoes. Her new shoes appeal to Lisa.

Note that the construction with plaire is identical to English if you use "appeal" as the verb.

 

Thank you Chris!

Hello, this verb structure seems similar to plaire. Is there any reason plaire is not mentioned in this page? Just wondering. Merci beaucoup!

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Tu manques à Lise. Lise misses you. -> It's not Lise misses you. anymore, but literally You are lacking to Lise........

This part of the lesson is really messing with my learning process. Please answer me this....In the example, "Tu manques à Lise", IS it or IS IT NOT "Lise misses you."  ???

Asked 8 months ago

Yes, Lise is the one who is missing over whoever.

The confusion comes about because in English ("Lisa misses you") Lisa is the subject whereas in French ("Tu manques à Lisa") it is "tu".

Thank you.

Merry Christmas 

Tu manques à Lise. Lise misses you. -> It's not Lise misses you. anymore, but literally You are lacking to Lise........

This part of the lesson is really messing with my learning process. Please answer me this....In the example, "Tu manques à Lise", IS it or IS IT NOT "Lise misses you."  ???

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Please explain the difference in this example

ranslate "She misses Jacques": ________.Jacques lui manqueJacques manque à elle
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Hi Claudia,

Jacques lui manque is the correct way, with lui replacing the person who misses Jacque. If the person is mentioned directly, the construction changes: Jacques manque à Anne -- Anne misses Jacques. She misses Jacques -- Jacques lui manque. 

 

On another note and to confuse matters slightly:

Je pense à toi -- I'm thinking of you. Correct.
Je te pense. -- INCORRECT

Alain me manque   

How can that be wrong?  It doesn't make any sense -

Je manque à Alain
My books says different.  Can you explain please?

Alain me manque. -- I miss Alain.
Je manque à Alain. -- Alain misses me.

Please explain the difference in this example

ranslate "She misses Jacques": ________.Jacques lui manqueJacques manque à elle

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Manquer à

J'ai toujours eu du mal avec ce verbe.  Je me demande si je pouvais y aller un pas plus loin et dit <Jean me manque et Jean manque à moi>? J'aimerais savoir si les deux sont correcte?  En ce qui concerne les deux phrases, je veux dire <I miss John> en anglais.  Peut-être j'ai tort.  Merci d'avance,
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer
"Jean me manque" is correct.

Manquer à

J'ai toujours eu du mal avec ce verbe.  Je me demande si je pouvais y aller un pas plus loin et dit <Jean me manque et Jean manque à moi>? J'aimerais savoir si les deux sont correcte?  En ce qui concerne les deux phrases, je veux dire <I miss John> en anglais.  Peut-être j'ai tort.  Merci d'avance,

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I really need to practise some of these over and over. How can I get more questions?

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour Katrina !

You can add lessons you specifically want to practise against to your notebook.

Here's a link that shows you how :)
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/faq/notebooks

Bonne journée !

I really need to practise some of these over and over. How can I get more questions?

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IanC1

Comment on dit "The cat misses me" Je manque au chat?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Hi Ian,

yes, that sounds correct.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

IanC1

Thanks Chris. It just sounded strange. Remerci.

Comment on dit "The cat misses me" Je manque au chat?

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Je manque à Alain - Alain misses me

I think that is translation is particularly tricky because of the switch from me in English to I in French. Can you please include it in the examples for this lesson?
Asked 1 year ago
GruffKwiziq language super star
I agree it's especially tricky. We'll add some more examples of that form. Thanks!

Je manque à Alain - Alain misses me

I think that is translation is particularly tricky because of the switch from me in English to I in French. Can you please include it in the examples for this lesson?

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futur proche

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer
Hi James, neither of the two sentences seem right to me.

If you want to say "You are going to miss me" -- "Je vais te manquer."
If you want to say "I am going to miss you" -- "Tu vas me manquer."

-- Chris (not a native speaker).
oops, sorry, typed in the wrong box ...
RonC1
Bonjour James, Est-ce qu'il y a une question en ce qui concerne cette leçon? Bonne journée.
Oui, peut-être. Avec le futur proche, est-ce qu’on dit <>, ou est-ce qu’on dit <> ou, peut-être, autre chose?
should have said this - Oui, peut-être. Avec le futur proche, est-ce qu’on dit “je vais tu manquer” ou est-ce qu’on dit “je vais tu me manques” ou, peut-être, autre chose? information inside << >> was thrown out ...

futur proche

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Could you give a reminder/link re: lui vs. elle?

I had the question Translate "She misses Jacques". I chose "Jacques elle manque" (wrong) instead of "Jacques lui manque". The lesson states "...or to use pronouns (i.e. I, you, he, we, they... miss), you will use me/te/lui/nous/vous/leur before manquer.". Would it be possible to add a link to the relevant lesson about pronouns at the bottom of the lesson? It would be helpful to reference this, to understand which pronoun to use in this instance. Thanks.
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Melody ! I've updated the lesson to include links to lessons and glossary articles on indirect object pronouns ! Merci et à bientôt !

Could you give a reminder/link re: lui vs. elle?

I had the question Translate "She misses Jacques". I chose "Jacques elle manque" (wrong) instead of "Jacques lui manque". The lesson states "...or to use pronouns (i.e. I, you, he, we, they... miss), you will use me/te/lui/nous/vous/leur before manquer.". Would it be possible to add a link to the relevant lesson about pronouns at the bottom of the lesson? It would be helpful to reference this, to understand which pronoun to use in this instance. Thanks.

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Getting that for you now.