Mancare

Posted on 19. Apr, 2011 by in Grammar

The Italian verb mancare means ‘to be lacking in’ or ‘to be missing’. It is an important and useful verb which is well worth studying because we use it a lot in everyday conversation.

‘to miss’ a.

‘to miss’ someone or something’ is expressed in the following way in Italian:

mi manca la mia famiglia – I miss my family (literally: my family is missing for me)

mi mancano i giorni caldi dell’estate – I miss the hot summer days (literally: the hot summer days are missing for me)

non ti manca l’Inghilterra? – don’t you miss England? (literally: isn’t England missing for you?)

ti mancano i tuoi? – do you miss your parents? (literally: aren’t your parents missing for you?)

mi manchi – I miss you (literally: you are missing for me)

‘to miss’ b.

‘to miss’ as in miss a target or goal is expressed in the following way in Italian:

ha mancato la rete – he missed the goal

ho mancato il bersaglio per un pelo – I missed the target by a hair

other common uses of mancare:

quanto manca alla partenza? – how long before we leave? (literally: how much time is lacking before the departure?)

mancano dieci minuti – there are ten minutes left (literally: ten minutes are lacking)

che ore sono? …. mancano cinque minuti alle dieci – what time is it? …. it’s five to ten (literally: five minutes are lacking before ten)

mi mancano le chiavi – I haven’t got my keys with me (literally: my keys are lacking to me)

ci manca il latte – we haven’t got any milk left (literally: the milk is lacking to us)

è mancata la corrente – there was a power failure (literally: the current was lacking)

oggi mi manca la voglia di pulire la casa – I don’t have the will to clean the house today (literally: today the will to clean the house is lacking for me)

alla riunione mancava solo Giovanni – only Giovanni wasn’t at the meeting (literally: at the meeting there was missing only Giovanni)

we also use the word mancanza to express a lack, absence or shortage of someone/thing:

sento la sua mancanza – I miss him (literally: I feel his absence)

ha dimostrato una mancanza di tatto – he showed a lack of tact

durante la guerra c’era sempre una mancanza di cibo – there was always a lack of food during the war

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5 Responses to “Mancare”

  1. Don Pines 19 April 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Very informative, grazie

  2. Joan Engelhaupt 19 April 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    I’m so glad you explained this, Serena, because about a month ago the Word of the Day used an example that translated into English something like, “Good-bye, Mother. I’ll miss you,” but grammatically, it certainly looked like “You’ll miss me” to me. I asked my Italian teacher about it in great confusion, and she explained pretty much as you did about “mancare”.

  3. Ruth Neeman 20 April 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Serena
    Molto utile, Grazie!!!

  4. Lesley Brennan 20 April 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    I love your blog, Serena and you have been so helpful in my understanding of la parola “mancare”, Tante grazie

  5. David T 26 April 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Thanks so much – I never noticed that mancare is used very much like piacere (is missing for me vs. is pleasing to me). Thanks for clearing that up.


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