As you continue your French-learning journey you will undoubtedly start to form relationships with people you miss when apart. You’ll be happy to know that there are many ways to express that you miss someone in French and we are going to go over as many as possible in this article.
Let’s get started…
Saying I miss you in French with tu me manques
When most English speakers start learning French they inevitably try to learn things by translating them from English to French. It’s important to understand that this doesn’t work nearly as well as we wish it would, and there is no phrase that demonstrates this more than the phrase tu me manques.
If you have experience with learning French, but aren’t familiar with this phrase you’ll be surprised to see that it looks like “you miss me”.
This usually catches English speakers off guard because we think of sentences like Je t’aime (I love you) or Je te vois (I see you) where the word “you” comes BEFORE the verb, and logically think that in order to say “I miss you” we should say Je te manque.
If you are having trouble understanding exactly why “I miss you” is phrased like this take a look at the example directly below.
Tu me manques – YOU are MISSING to ME
Although most language teachers and textbooks discourage translating in your head from one language to another, if you must do it for this phrase then this is the best way to go about it.
In fact, you can think of it this way whenever you want to state that you (or someone else) misses someone or something. Let’s look at some examples below to get a better understanding of this.
Tu me manques – I miss you (YOU are MISSING to ME)
Ça te manque – You miss that (THAT is MISSING to YOU)
Je te manque – You miss me (I am MISSING to YOU)
Il te manque – You miss him (HE is MISSING to YOU)
Paul manque à Sarah – Sarah misses Paul (PAUL is MISSING to SARAH
As you may have suspected you can add different word modifiers to these sentences to express yourself further. These are the same words you may have seen before.
Tu me manques tellement – I miss you so much
Il me manque beaucoup – I miss him a lot
Elle te manque déjà – You already miss her
Nous lui manquons grave – He/she seriously misses us
Vous leur manquez vachement – They really miss you
Using Tu me manques to say “I miss you” in French is definitely the most popular way to do so. However it’s time to take this a step further and look at other ways to express that you miss someone (or something) in French.
Saying that you miss something in French
Sometimes it’s not appropriate to say “I miss you”, but rather you that you miss doing something. The most common way of saying this in French is Ça me manque de… and then of course whatever you miss doing. You can really say that you miss doing anything, but a couple of examples may be..
Ça me manque d’aller à la plage le week-end – I miss going to the beach on the weekend
Ça me manque de rendre visite à ma tante – I miss visiting my aunt
Ça me manque de manger des pommes – I miss eating apples
Ça me manque de parler avec lui – I miss talking with him
Saying I miss you in french with je te regrette
Remember how we went over that saying Tu me manques means “I miss you” and that Je te manque means “You miss me?” Well, all of that can be discarded when using Je te regrette. The unfortunate part is that you probably won’t hear this sentence used all that much as it’s quite formal and some would even say that it refers to someone you’ll never see again (such as someone who’s passed away.)
Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to know about it.
Je te regrette – I miss you
Tu me regrettes – You miss me
Il te regrette – He misses you
Ils nous regrettent – They miss us
Saying I miss you with je m'ennuie de toi
Although all of these ways of saying or expressing “I miss you” in French will work just fine in Canada, you should probably know that there’s another more common way to say it. Je m’ennuie de toi which literally translates to “I bore myself of you” is probably what you’ll hear the most when living or traveling in French-speaking Canada. Let’s see it used in context.
Je m’ennuie de toi – I miss you
Tu t’ennuies de moi – You miss me
Je m’ennuie de Paul – I miss Paul
Elle s’ennuie de lui – She misses him
Other ways to express i miss you in French
Saying “I miss you” is really only one way of expressing this sort of emotion. There are plenty of ways to express yourself when you miss someone or something. Let’s take a look.
Expressing I miss you with je suis impatient de te voir
One thing that you may want to say when you miss someone and are looking forward to seeing them again is Je suis impatient de te voir which translates as “I’m looking forward to seeing you”. As you may have already guessed you can tailor this sentence to anything or anyone that you are looking forward to doing or seeing. Let’s look at some examples of this in action.
Je suis impatient de te voir – I’m looking forward to seeing you
Je suis impatient de travailler avec elle – I’m looking forward to working with her
Je suis impatient d’aider les étudiants – I’m looking forward to helping the students
Je suis impatient de savoir ce que vous en pensez – I’m looking forward to knowing what you think about it
expressing i miss you with J'ai hâte de te voir
Another variation of our previous sentence (Je suis impatient de te voir) is J’ai hâte de te voir which translates literally as “I have haste to see you…” It’s basically a more common way to say Je suis impatient de te voir (I’m looking forward to seeing you.) The only real difference between them is that with J’ai hâte de… you don’t always have to put a verb after de such as in the sentence j’ai hâte du week-end.
J’ai hâte de te voir – I’m looking forward to seeing you
J’ai hâte du week-end – I’m looking forward to the weekend
J’ai hâte d’aller au parc demain – I’m looking forward to going to the park tomorrow
J’ai hâte de manger au restaurant ce soir – I’m looking forward to eating out this evening
You don’t have to always use de after J’ai hâte as you can say J’ai hâte que when what follows after is a subject (tu, il, nous, mon frère, etc…) An example of this could be…
J’ai hâte que tu reviennes – I can’t wait for you to come back
J’ai hâte que vous reveniez – I can’t wait for you to come back (Used in either formal situations or situations where you are referring to multiple people regardless of the formality.)
Any of these sentences will work no matter where you find yourself in the French-speaking world however you’ll often hear the following sentences in Québec…
J’ai hâte au weekend – I can’t wait for the weekend
J’ai hâte aux vacances – I can’t wait for vacation
You probably won’t hear these too much in France so if you don’t want to get into the habit of saying it you don’t have to. Just know that you may run into people who say this.
expressing i miss you with vivement
This is a simple and quick way to express the emotion of missing someone. All you have to do is say vivement (which translates literally as quickly or swiftly) and then the time you are looking forward to. So for example you could say…
Vivement dimanche – Can’t wait for Sunday
Vivement ce soir – Can’t wait for this evening
Vivement ce week-end – Can’t wait for this weekend
Vivement les vacances – Can’t wait for vacation
You can also use vivement que if what you are looking for has to do with someone or something else such as in the phrase…
Vivement que tu arrives – Can’t wait for you to arrive
Vivement que tu reviennes – Can’t wait for you to come back
Expressing i miss you with on se reverra bientôt
There are actually a few variations of this that all pretty much mean the same thing. The only difference between them is that some are a little more formal than others. The best English translation for this one is “Will we see each other again soon?” Here are all the variations…
On se reverra bientôt ? – Will we see each other again soon?
On se revoit bientôt ? – Will we see each other again soon?
On se verra bientôt ? – Will we see each other soon? (there’s no “again” with this one, but if the context is clear then it’s not really needed.)
On se voit bientôt ? – Will we see each other soon?
You of course are free to use Nous instead of On to make Nous nous reverrons bientôt ? (as well as the all the variations), but in common speech you are much more likely to hear people use On.
Expressing i miss you with on se reverra quand
This one is almost identical to the previous one with one key difference. Instead of asking if we’ll see each other soon we are asking when we will see each other again. Let’s look at the above examples and replace the word bientôt with quand.
On se reverra quand ? – When will we see each other again ?
On se revoit quand ? – When will we see each other again?
On se verra quand ? – When will we see each other? (Again, this sentence doesn’t imply that we are seeing each other again, but because the context is clear it should just be understood)
On se voit quand ? – When will we see each other?
Just as a reminder you are free to use Nous instead of On to make Nous nous reverrons quand ? as well as the other sentences. On is just much more common when speaking.
Expressing i miss you with je ne suis pas bien sans toi
This one is perfect for those looking for a very heartfelt way to express that they miss someone. Je ne suis pas bien sans toi translates literally to “I am not well without you” and is a very strong way of expressing that you miss someone. This one should be left for romantic relationships and not simple friends or coworkers.
Expressing i miss you with à bientôt j'espère
The best translation of À bientôt, j’espère is “I hope to see you soon” or even “See you soon, I hope”. What’s important to remember about this one is that it’s best used for smaller relationships with friends or those you work with. If, for whatever reason, you’re in a more formal situation such as when writing to someone you should say À bientôt, je l’espère.
Expressing i miss you with reviens vite
Another pretty simple way to express that you miss someone in French. This phrase translates to “come back quickly”. You can easily use this when speaking to a friend or loved one that you would like to see again soon.
Expressing i miss you with je veux que tu sois là
Je veux que tu sois là, which translates to “I want you to be here”, is a great way to express that you want the person that you miss to be right there with you. In addition to Je veux que tu sois là you can say Je voudrais que tu sois là (I would like you to be here) as well as J’aimerais que tu sois là (Also I would like you to be here.)
Although you shouldn’t have to say this (because the context will be clear) you can add avec moi to the end of the phrase to emphasize that you want them to be there “with you”.
expressing i miss you with j'ai envie d'être avec toi
Another great way to express that you miss someone in French is by saying j’ai envie d’être avec toi which translates to “I want to be with you”. This one is reserved for romantic relationships. Don’t use this one with colleagues or friends.
expressing i miss you with j'en peux plus de t'attendre
This is a simple one that is the equivalent of “I can’t stand to wait for you any more”. Although all of the sentences in this list can be used to express that you miss someone or something this one is best used when you haven’t see someone for a while. It makes sense when you think about it. If you can’t stand to wait any longer then chances are you’ve been without that person for quite some time.
expressing i miss you with tu as laissé un vide derrière toi
This one may seem a little strange at first, but when you think about it for a second it makes perfect sense. Translated literally as “You left a void behind you”, it’s a rather strong way to express that you miss someone. If you want to make it just a little bit stronger you can say Tu as laissé un grand vide derrière toi.
expressing i miss you with j'ai les boules quand t'es pas là
This is definitely a very informal way of expressing I miss you and roughly translates to “I’m bummed when you’re not here” or “I’m upset when you’re not here”. Another expression that’s similar, but not directly related is J’ai une boule au ventre quand je pense à toi which translates roughly as “I have knots in my stomach when I think about you”.
expressing I miss you with c'est nul sans toi
This is definitely a very informal way of expressing that you miss someone. The closest way to translate this into English would be to say “It’s useless without you” or even “It sucks without you”. This is one that you can totally use with someone that you’re in a romantic relationship, but can also be used with others such as a friend who moved away or a coworker who found another job.
Expressing i miss you with ton absence me pèse
Yet another strong way to express that you miss someone. The best literal translation of this is “Your absence weighs on me”. Another way of saying this would be Ton absence me fait souffrir. which translates as “Your absence makes me suffer”.
Expressing i miss you with c'est pas pareil sans toi
Another easy-to-understand way of expressing that you miss someone is to say C’est pas pareil sans toi which is translated as “It’s not the same without you”. Certainly a great way to tell someone that you miss them.
There are undoubtedly hundreds of ways to express that you miss someone in French. Which ones do you frequently use or hear used often? Comment below and tell us all about them.