There is a good explanation of manques à on this about page: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/manquer.htm
"Manquer + à means "to miss a person, place, or thing,"* as in to feel the lack of it:
David manque à moi. > David me manque. I miss David.
Tu manques à moi. > Tu me manques. I miss you.
*This is the confusing construction, because it means that in French, the person missed is the subject of the sentence, whereas in English, the person missed is the object. The French construction literally says "A is missing to Z," where in English we say "Z misses A." If you can remember to think about the literal meaning of the French construction, you should be all right.
More examples on http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/manquer.htm
This really helped! The reversed subject/object is confusing. So, to be clear...
"Tu manques à moi" => "I miss you" ("you are missing to me") "Tu manques moi" => "You miss me" ("you are missing me")
Is the second form acceptable? Just a couple of questions ago, I got the sentence:
"Tu manques un bon repas" => "You are missing a good meal"
So I assume the "à" makes all the difference... ?
"Tu manques moi" is incorrect. It should be "Tu me manques", and it has here a same meaning as "Tu manques à moi". "à moi" is actually the same thing here as indirect object pronoun "me", but it's just that when you have a preposition "à", after it (or any other preposition) you must put a stressed pronoun (here "moi") instead of indirect (or direct) object pronoun (here "me").
"Je manque à toi" = "Je te manque" = "I am missing to you" = "You miss me".
No. The verb manquer is used in several ways and has somewhat different meanings. One is the conventional meaning of "to miss" something, e.g., to miss the bus (manquer le bus). Another is "to be missing (absent/away)", "to be missing (lacking)" something. In the latter sense, manquer is used with à (i.e., manquer à), e.g., "Tu manques à tes enfants". When used with de, it takes on more directly the idea of "to lack / to be short of", e.g., "Ta soupe manque de sel" (Your soup lacks salt). With or without the optional "de", it can indicate that something was about to happen (or nearly happened), e.g., J'ai manqué (de) mourir (I nearly died). There is no doubt that "manquer" is a tricky one. Look at daveremy's link above and also this one:
It is not an exception. As has already been noted (above), when the object of the verb "to be missing" is placed before the verb, the "à" is dropped so it is an alternate form of saying the same thing: "Tu manques à moi" = "Tu me manques" = (literally) "You are missing to me" (or, in better English), "I miss you".
I'm not 100% sure but i think to say "A good meal is missing you" would be "Tu manques à un bon repas". Just the same way the example indicated the children as the subject by "à tes enfants". In this scenario the 'à' seems to take on a similar meaning to 'by' in English... "You are missed by a good meal" or "You are missed by your children"
Who said it was generally inverted? The inversion happens only with a specific meaning of "miss", and that's the meaning in phrases like "I miss you." There's no inversion in the meaning of miss in "You are missing a good meal." That is saying that there's a good meal happening and I'm not participating. The former is saying that I feel your absence, and the space created by it, regrettably.
Yes there is an equivalent in Spanish: «Me haces falta» (for "Tu me manques" / "I miss you"). It's quite easy to understand the French expression if you think of it this way, rather than thinking in English and having to reverse the subject with the object.
Thus, the Spanish and English equivalents of the phrase «Tu manques à tes enfants» would be, respectively: «(Tú) le haces falta a tus hijos» and «Your children miss you». The subject of the French and Spanish phrases is 'you', while in the English sentence it is 'your children'. Vice versa for the object.
Great! thanks! that helps me a lot translating these sentences in french, and also with italian that has almost the same word "mancare", and it is used that exact meaning "hacer falta" (example: "le manca la personalità", Duolingo translates it as "She does not have a personality"). However, i miss a one-word equivalence in spanish.
"Tu manques à te enfant" is not correct French.
The correct way for the singular version of "Tu manques à tes enfants" is : "Tu manques à ton enfant."
The end of "ton" is pronounced like "vont", "mon", "long", etc...
The end of "tes" is pronounced like "lait", "mes", "mais", etc...
I think Duo wants to suggest that manquer can carry intensity.
Putting heavy emphasis on missed in I missed the bus doesn't mean you missed it more completely than if you had not put emphasis on missed. It more likely would be taken to mean things were ruined, as in I missed the bus (which was the last one to take me back to the cruise ship which will now leave with all my belongings but with me stranded in a foreign country.)
In English, the appropriate tone can be used to mean to miss has consequences. It seems Duo is suggesting that is true in French as well.
True that manquer can be "to spoil" but in the context of "to make a mess of" or "to botch" something. Tu as manqué ta vocation = You have missed your vocation. Duo's drop-down hints include a lot of possible uses, but not all of them are necessarily relevant to the sentence presented. http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/manquer/49143
The way think about this verb is that it means "to give a sense of longing" - That way you don't have to do any mental gymnastics in your head to make it make sense in English.
Tu me manques = You give me a sense of longing = I miss you.
Tu manques a tes enfants = You give a sense of longing to your children = Your children miss you.