How do you say I miss you in Italian?

How exactly do you say I miss you in Italian? What’s more appropriate to say depending on the relationship between you and the other person?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different ways you can translate this sentence into Italian. Read on to learn them all!

Let’s start! Iniziamo!

how do you say i miss you in italian - let's start - iniziamo - athlete woman running

How do you say I miss you in Italian?

Singular: Mi manchi!

Mi manchi is how you translate I miss you in Italian when you are addressing only one person at a time. For example, you cannot use it to tell your parents that you both miss them. We’ll see why in a minute.

Mi manchi
I miss you (singular, informal)
Literally: To me you miss

This common sentence in Italian is made of two elements.

Mi
Indirect object pronoun for “me”

Manchi
Present tense conjugation of the verb mancare, to miss

boyfriend kissing his girlfriend on her cheek

Mi manchi tanto, Andrea. Torna presto.
I miss you so much, Andrea. Come back soon.

Mi manchi! – Mi manchi anche tu, amore.
I miss you. – I miss you too, love.

In this case, mi translates the English “(to) me”. Literally this would be “To me you miss”! Manchi is actually the second person singular conjugation of mancare, to miss, in the present tense.

This is very different from the English sentence, where the first person conjugation is used!

Present tense conjugation of mancare

iomanco
tumanchi
lui, leimanca
noimanchiamo
voimancate
loromancano

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For example, you could say…

Mancano solo due minuti all’inizio della gara.
There are only two minutes left until the start of the race.

Il soldato manca il bersaglio.
The soldier misses the target.

soldier hitting a plush instead of the target

Now, what do you have to say to say I miss you in Italian to groups of people? You will need to conjugate the verb in the second person plural. Let’s see what this form is in the next paragraph.


Plural: Mi mancate!

Mi mancate is how you translate I miss you in Italian when you are addressing more than one person. If you miss your parents, this is the form you have to use!

Mi mancate
I miss you (plural)
Literally: To me you miss

Italian has two kinds of “you”, unlike English. There’s a singular “you” and then there’s a plural “you”. If you are addressing a group, you will need to conjugate any verb or pronoun accordingly.

This is why we’ll say mancate, instead of manca, to talk to more than one person.

Mi mancate, ragazzi. Ci siamo visti l’ultima volta tre mesi fa.
I miss you guys. We last saw each other three months ago.

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Now, how do you say I miss you in Italian when you need to be polite (as if this were possible!)? Keep on reading to find out!


Formal: Mi manca!

If you are just visiting Italy and often meet new people, unless you both agree on using the informal pronoun tu you will have to stick to the polite pronoun Lei when talking to other adults and people you are not on familiar terms with. With kids, it’s customary to use tu, no matter the degree of familiarity.

This is the equivalent of she in English. Basically, when speaking formally, Italians address each other with the subject “she”, lei.

That said, how do you formally say I miss you in Italian?

Mi manca
I miss you (polite)
Literally: To me s/he misses

coworkers holding hands

Although, I wouldn’t really use this polite form with any person. I miss you is something you would say to someone you know well, someone you share a romantic relationship with, or somebody you are fond of.

If you are still using formal pronouns to address a person, it means you don’t know them very well. Telling your boss at work that you miss them could be inappropriate.

And that’s it, now you know how to say I miss you in Italian in all its forms!


What next?

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