The Verb manquer : Different Meanings Not to Be Missed
This verb is very interesting as it means at the same time “to lack” or “to run out of something”, to “fail”, and, its main meaning, “to miss”. And this is when it becomes very confusing for English speakers as it is used in a very different way. It is interesting, too, to discover a few expressions in which manquer is used in everyday language.
In this article, through examples, we will help you to know in which circumstances this verb is used.
1 -To miss:
a) I miss someone/something
More and more nowadays, manquer is used when talking about someone that you miss, or something you are attached to, such as your home country. But, contrary to the English, you don’t say that you miss someone or something but that someone or something is missed by you, which seems very bizarre to all English speakers!
Mes grands‐parents me manquent. = I miss my grandparents.
Mes cours de chant ne me manquent pas trop. = I don’t miss my singing lessons too much.
La France me manque, je ne peux plus y aller en ce moment. = I miss France, I can’t go there at the moment.
b) Someone misses me
In this sentence format, it is necessary to add the preposition à after manquer.
Je sais que je manque à mes parents depuis que je suis partie. = I know that my parents miss me since I left.
Il manque à sa fille depuis le confinement. = His daughter misses him since the lockout.
c) I missed the train
Manquer also means to miss the train, for example, but in common language, the French have a tendency to use the verbs rater or louper (see further).
J’ai manqué le train. = I missed the train.
2 -To lack, to run out (of something)
When meaning “to lack”, manquer is used in many common expressions, such as those listed below. When it has this meaning, manquer is followed by de or d’ in front of a vowel. For example: Manquer de courage = to lack courage, manquer de goût = to lack taste, manquer de respect = to lack respect, etc.
On manque de tout, les étagères du supermarché sont presque vides depuis le début de l’épidémie ! = We’re running out of everything, the shelves at the supermarket are almost empty since the beginning of the epidemic!
Roger a manqué de farine, il n’a plus pu faire de pain. = Roger lacked flour, he couldn’t bake bread anymore.
Ce jeune homme manque d’expérience. = This young man lacks experience.