Ok, je suis désolée, mes chers lecteurs, (sorry, guys.) If you hang out here at “Forty, C’est Fantastique” very often, you know that when it comes to all things French I am a bit like Big Bang Theory’s Howard Walowitz talking about going to space…
So of course when I read Linda’s prompt, being the obsessive French-learning girl that I am, my mind immediately went to “la grammaire française.” (Vous le savez…”la grammaire…le mal nécessaire”!) there are certain verbs in French which are difficult for us anglophones to master, and one of the most famous is “manquer” which means “to miss.” I think you can use this in the sense of being late for something like “J’ai manqué l’avion.” Of course they have another word for that too, which is “rater”, and I’ve heard that more often for “I missed the plane” (“J’ai raté l’avion.”)
In any case, the verb “manquer” comes in two varieties, one with a preposition “manquer à” and the one I used above, without a preposition. The second one is the one you use for “feeling a lack of something in your life” and that trips up many of us students of the French language. Every time I use it, I must go through a convoluted and painstaking process of thinking of my sentence in a sort of “backwards English” and then translating it to the proper use of “manquer à.” When I want to tell my husband that I miss him when I am away at work, I must first think of the sentence “You are missing from me” and then translate that into Tu manques à moi” and then replace “à moi” with “me” therefore arriving at the correct usage, “Tu me manques.” Arrgh. But I like the connotations of that, I have to admit.
Thus for anyone or anything that you feel a lack of, I believe it’s correct to use this word.
I miss them = Ils me manquent; I miss all y’all = Vous me manquez. We missed you last week = Tu nous manquais la semaine dernière
Ah, I am sure that my francophone amis will not miss the opportunity to correct me if I have fait une erreur. 🙂 (et ça me rend heureuse parce que c’est la meilleure façon de m’améliorer.)
The other verb that I mentioned, “rater” is plus simple. I like that it’s simpler, but it does not mean the same thing at all as “manquer à.” It’s useful, though, when you miss your plane, train, appointment, movie, etc. I also like several words that are in the same family as “rater.” Like “inratable” which means “can’t miss” or “can’t fail.” For instance, dans la cuisine, I love to see recipes which are labeled “inratable.” Meaning you can’t fail at these recipes. I have yet to really find a recipe for “les macarons inratables.” I have tried making macarons, and je les ai raté. However, I did find a delicious recipe for “les calissons d’Aix-en-Provence” (a delicious candy particular to the region made from a paste of candied fruits and almond flour) and it was indeed “inratable” because I tried it and found that it was easy and tasted just like the ones I had in Provence when I was visiting my friends there. It was like a ray of Provençal sunshine dans ma cuisine! Un bon souvenir ! The only problem was that I couldn’t find the proper cutter to make the traditional shape. For my experiment I just cut them into diamonds. I found a cutter on Amazon, and when it arrived, it was HUGE ! Not at all like the petite candies I had in France. So I returned it and with much research and care, found one that is only slightly larger than the ones I remember. So next time they will be the proper shape if just a tad bigger than I think they should be.
Ok, ok, enough SoC for this Saturday. I have to go now, because “je ne veux pas rater mon rendez-vous chez la coiffeuse” (I don’t want to miss my hair appointment?)
This post is part of Linda G Hill’s “Stream of Consciousness Saturday” — Click and read, click and join in! Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “miss.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!