I Miss You! Posted by Geoff on Jun 4, 2018 in Grammar
Dear readers, there are so many grammatical topics that I want to cover that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin! But let’s strike while the iron is hot and deal with another confusingly back to front concept: mancare = to miss/to be missing.
If you’ve come to grips with the reverse thinking that is fundamental to understanding how piacere works, then mancare should be a breeze! Remember how in my series of blogs on piacere I wrote: “in Italian it’s not the person that does the liking, but the thing that pleases the person”? Well, exactly the same concept applies to mancare: “in Italian it’s not the person that does the missing, but the thing that is missing from the person”.
You’ll also need to know how to use indirect personal pronouns:
Italian Indirect Personal Pronouns
Let’s begin with the present tense conjugations of mancare:
io manco = I miss or I am missing
tu manchi = you miss or you are missing
lui/lei manca = he/she/it misses or he/she/it is missing
noi manchiamo = we miss or we are missing
voi mancate = you (plural) miss or you are missing
loro mancano = they miss or they are missing
Just as with piacere, the two conjugations that you’ll use most frequently are the third person singular (manca) and the third person plural (mancano).
Let’s jump straight into some examples that illustrate how it all works. Unfortunately, whereas with piacere we were able to use the intermediary translation ‘it pleases me/they please me’, there’s really no satisfactory way of translating mancare, so please bare with the ugly translations that I’ve included purely for illustrative purposes:
1. Do you miss England? If we turn that around we get the Italian equivalent: ‘Is England missing to you?’ (horrible, right?), which in Italian is Ti manca l’Inghilterra?
2. I miss my parents. Once again, we turn it around to get: ‘My parents are missing to me’. Hence: Mi mancano i miei genitori.
3. I miss you. Hence: You are missing to me. Hence: Mi manchi
4. We miss you (plural). Hence: You are missing to us. Hence: Ci mancate
To use mancare in the present perfect (passato prossimo) tense, you need to follow exactly the same rules as for piacere: Mi Piace! – Part 3.
1. He missed his dog whilst he was away. Hence: His dog was missing to him whilst he was away. Hence: Gli è mancato il cane mentre era via
2. They missed their daughters when they were on holiday. Hence: Their daughters were missing to them when they were on holiday. Hence: Gli sono mancate le figlie quando erano in vacanza.
Now try a few for yourselves:
Do you miss your friends? _______ i tuoi amici?
Does she miss Marco? _______ Marco?
I miss the sea _______ il mare
I missed Italy when I lived in England _______ l’Italia quando abitavo in Inghilterra
I really missed you when you were away _______ molto quando eri via
Did you (plural) miss me? _______?
Check the comments section for the correct answers. And as usual, if you have any questions please leave a comment.