Language Corner

Language Corner

In this edition I will focus on a single verb that’s used in so many contexts: mancare. The more common English equivalents are to miss, to lack, to need.

Here are some useful examples.

Al mio cagnolino manca solo la parola!
The only thing my puppy lacks is the ability to talk.

Mi manca un buon dizionario moderno.
I need a good modern dictionary.

Non si può dire che manchi di coraggio.
One cannot say he/she lacks courage.

Non sono aggiornata sulla politica italiana – manco dall’Italia da 50 anni.
I’m not up to date with Italian politics – I left Italy 50 years ago.

Oggi mancano tre studenti .
Three students are missing today.

Il campione di tiro ha mancato l’ultimo bersaglio.
The shooting champion missed the last target.

Non far affidamento su di lui: manca sempre di parola.
Don’t place your trust in him: he always breaks his word.

Ci manca molto nostra madre, morta dieci anni fa.
We really miss our mother, who died ten years ago.

So note the different construction in mi manchi = I miss you. Literally, in Italian you’re saying ‘you are missing to me’. If this is too hard to remember, you can say sento la tua mancanza which literally means ‘I feel your absence’.

Tutti possiamo mancare.
We all make mistakes.

Yvette Devlin