Manquer: Conjugation & Translation

Instructor: Jennifer Chrol

I have a Master's degree in English and French. I love teaching language at all ages and levels.

In this lesson you will learn how to use the verb ''manquer'' as well as how to conjugate the verb. ''Manquer'' is a regular -er verb with some irregular uses. Here you will find some simple rules to help you remember how to correctly use the verb ''manquer.''

Introduction to the Verb Manquer

The verb manquer in French translates into 'to miss.' But, manquer is a tricky verb for students because it can have three different meanings. It can be used emotionally to say 'I miss you'; it can be used to explain a past, future, or conditional action of missing something, as in 'I missed the train' or 'You will miss the train'; and it can be used with the preposition de to express a lack of something or a failure to do something, such as 'The soup needs salt.'

Conjugating Manquer

When conjugating the verb manquer, you follow the regular -er verb pattern. Here is the conjugation for the present tense.

VERB: manquer (mahnk-ay) - to miss

Subject Pronoun Verb Conjugation: Present Pronunciation Translation
je je manque (zhuh mahnk) I miss
tu tu manques (too mahnk) you miss (singular/informal)
il/elle/on il/elle manque (eel/el mahnk) he/she misses
nous nous manquons (noo mahnk-ohn) we miss
vous vous manquez (voo mahnk-ay) you miss (plural/formal)
ils/elles ils/elles manquent (eel/el mahnk) they miss

Since the second use of manquer, missing an appointment or event, is usually conjugated in the past tense, here is the conjugation chart for manquer in the passé composé:

VERB: manquer (mahnk-ay) - to miss

Subject Pronoun Verb Conjugation: Passé Composé Pronunciation Translation
je j'ai manqué (zhay mahnk-ay) I missed
tu tu as manqué (too ah mahnk-ay) you missed (singular)
il/elle/on il/elle a manqué (eel/el ah mahnk-ay) he/she missed
nous nous avons manqué (noo zahv-ohn mahnk-ay) we missed
vous vous avez manqué (voo zahv-ay mahnk-ay) you missed (plural)
ils/elles ils/elles ont manqué (eel/el zohn mahnk-ay) they missed

Manquer: Emotion

Imagine that you spent two wonderful weeks on vacation in Paris. During that time you met a great boy or girl. However, you had to go home and, now that you are home, you want to say that you miss that person. When talking about missing someone or something, you are using 'to miss' in an emotional sense. You have to invert the subject and the object of the sentence. In order to say 'I miss you' in French you say, Tu me manques, literally, 'You are missing from me.'

Translation: I miss you and I miss Paris
miss you

There are two important rules to remember when saying 'I miss you' in French. The first rule is that the subject of the sentence will always be the person to whom you are referring. For example, if you want to say, 'I miss him,' you say Il me manque. Il (he) is the subject, and me (me) is the indirect object. If you were to say in French, Je te manque, you would actually be saying, 'I am missing from you' or more simply, 'You miss me.' It may help to think of manquer as a kind of passive verb when using it to describe an emotion.

The second rule is that the verb must match the subject. Remember from the first paragraph when you said, 'I miss you,' Tu me manques? Here manquer is conjugated with the tu pronoun because it is informal. So, what if you want to use the verb formally? You would need to use the vous pronoun. Therefore, you need to use the conjugation of the verb to match the subject. Vous me manquez.

Verb Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je te manque (zhuh tuh mahnk) you miss me
tu me manques (too muh mahnk) I miss you (singular/informal)
il/elle me manque (eel/el muh mahnk) I miss him/her
nous me manquons (noo muh mahnk-ohn) I miss us
vous me manquez (voo muh mahnk-ay) I miss you (plural/formal)
ils/elles me manquent (eel/el muh mahnk) I miss them

Don't forget, you can use this form to express that you miss something too. 'I miss Paris.' Paris me manque.

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