Could you also say je manque mon pays? This phrase seems to be idiomatic as literally it is saying "my country misses me" - which you could also say in English more of in a joking fashion, but would have a different conotation. Googling "je manque mon pays" I only get 28 uses, which is super low, and the uses don't really seem to come from convincingly native language sources...
No, this isn't idiomatic, it just has to do with a difference between French and English of the idea of "missing" something. In English, I miss my country, because the subject of the sentence is the one that does the "missing." In French, the subject is the one that does the "getting missed". It's hard to switch gears getting used to it.
Just remember: "Tu me manques" actually means "I miss you", and not "you miss me" which is what it looks like.
Thanks, that makes sense, and looking it up (wordreference, about.com), (and correct me if I am wrong) it seems to refers to missing in the sense of "feeling longing for." But not in the sense of actually having something missing, like if your child was lost, or if you were to "miss" the train.
(Though all these use the same verb) In Spanish there are some verbs like this that act similar, gustar, quedar, parecer, faltar etc. Are there other French words which can act in the same fashion as Manquer?
I'm not a French speaker, so I can't tell you for certain about whether or not there are other verbs like this.
Manquer can mean the other things you said like "miss a train" but the difference is whether the train is the direct object, or indirect object.
"Je manque le train" would be "I am failing to catch the train" but "Je manque au train" would be "The train longs for me". It is more obvious if I use "him", so "Je le manque" is "I miss him" as in he and I are not meeting one another because "he" is the direct object in this construction. This contrasts "Je lui manque" which means "He misses me" because here "he" is the indirect object.
Hopefully Sitesurf or someone will see this and correct any inaccuracies.
I don't have a list, but if you think "manquer" is interesting, here's another one for you to investigate: intéresser. It behaves the same way, meaning the usual verb-action seems inverted to our usual way of thinking. That's why it takes some extra effort to get our heads around these verbs: they are not just straight-across, "same as English" verbs.
There are other verbs like rater, faillir that have similiar meanings to manquer, in the sense of failure.
"Il nous a tiré, mais les coups nous a raté." means "He fired at us, but the shots missed us."
"Faillir" is a funny verb that means literally "to fail", but is generally used to denote something that nearly happened but fortunately didn't. "Le navire a failli toucher un rocher." means "The ship nearly hit (i.e. narrowly missed) a rock."
Ok. here we go. Bear with me.
As PATLAF says, in English the subject of the sentence is the one that does the "missing." I miss my country, whereas in French, the subject is the one that gets "missed": "Tu me manques" is "I miss you", and not "you miss me".
[This is because transitive verbs (the action falls on someone/thing else other than the doer) are not always the same in the two languages. The same situation applies to intransitive verbs (the action falls on the doer). This will determine whether we use an "a" before the object of the verb or not. Plus, some verbs are reflexive in one language and not in the other one.
Now the verb "manquer" can be used with different meanings which would make it to act at times as an intransitive verb and at other times as a transitive verb. IN THIS CASE "manquer" is an intransitive verb.]
So as JOSH5NOW says: 'manquer' translates as 'to be missed by' (roughly), not 'to miss.' Furthermore as JOSH5NOW adds: depending of the meaning of "manquer" (like "miss a train") there will be an impact on "the train" being the direct object, or indirect object of the verb "manquer". And this will determine whether to use an "a" before the "train" or not:
"Je manque le train" would be "I am failing to catch the train" but "Je manque au train" would be "The train longs for me". It is more obvious if I use "him", so "Je le manque" is "I miss him" as in he and I are not meeting one another because "he" is the direct object in this construction expressed as le. This contrasts "Je lui manque" which means "He misses me" because here "he" is the indirect object expressed as lui.
Again: Je lui manque(intransitive verb) (a quelq'un) Somebody misses me (is longing for me) "Je le manque (transitive verb)" "I miss him" (as in he and I are not meeting one another or I am following him and can't see him anymore)
Now as JROBINSON says in the case we are talking about, "manquer" has the meaning of "feeling longing for." Not in the sense of actually having something missing, like if your child were lost, or if you were to "miss" the train.
Let's see some examples:
l'argent qui leur manque the money they are short of
Le temps leur manque. They're short of time.
Now in the sense of "feeling longing for.
My country misses me. Je lui manque, a mon pays
or Mon pays, je lui manque.
Je manque a mon pays my country misses me,
Je manque a quelq'un Somebody misses me
Je lui manque (a quelq'un) Somebody misses me (is longing for me)
"Je le manque" "I miss him" (as in he and I are not meeting one another or I am following him and can't see him anymore)
Il me manque I miss him
Quelq'un me manque Somebody misses me
Je manque au train" would be "The train longs for me
je te manque You miss me (I am missed by you)
je leur manque they miss me
tu me manques I miss you a lot
tu lui manques he/she misses you
tu nous manques we miss you
tu leur manques they miss you
elle me manque I miss her
Ma sœur me manque.
Il me manque I miss him
Il me manque un renseignement. There's one piece of information I still need.
tu me manques ; vous me manquez ; I miss you
tu leur manquais they missed you
tu leur manqueras they will miss you
ils leur ont beaucoup manqué they missed them a lot
il leur a beaucoup manqué they missed him a lot
vous leur avez beaucoup manqué they missed you a lot
nous leur avons beaucoup manqué they missed us so much
ils leur manquent they miss them
ils lui manquent He misses them
ils me manquent I miss them.
This is pretty much the same as in to like something or someone: I like it .. Il me plait.
"Manquer" is one of those 'unique verbs' (this is what I call them) that exists in French. They don't translate as literal as you think.
"Manquer" literally translated as "To be missing from", that is why the subject and the object pronouns are switched.
Look at these examples:
Tu me manques = You are missing from me = I miss you
Je te manque = I am missing from you = You miss me
Mon pays me manque = My country is missing from me = I miss my country
Je manque à mon pays = I am missing from my country = My country misses me
Pretty romantique right? That's one of the reasons why I love French.
I think of Se manquer as the Agincourt verb,- a battle so long ago that it is most often mentioned in Shakespeare. But se manquer is definitely pay back. All you can do is think of it logically then spin it around! Add. Whoever is downvoting people expressing exasperation with this very difficult verb, please stop. You may not like my playful mention of Agincourt, fair enough, but others saying they are stuck, baffled, etc, should NOT be downvoted. This is an interactive site, that is how we learn. Mutual support is not wrong and some very useful clarification is not unusual.
I think its a little dramatic to think of this as some kind of payback. Millions of French people for hundreds of years (predating Agincourt) have used manquer without one pause for confusion. Of course, when they learn English, I imagine they are equally baffled by the "illogicality" of our way of saying "I miss him." So if there's any payback, it's mutual.
As a fellow learner, I obviously agree that manquer is initially confusing and hard to learn. So was object agreement with avoir verbs and "il est vs. c'est". But we finished learning those lessons, those of us who didn't give up. When i get frustrated by these technicalities, I try to remember that French people learn this stuff before they start third grade, so i can learn it too.
Hang in there, fellow students! Abandon thoughts that this is French vengeance, and soon we will move onward.
It has already been discussed in detail in this thread that the subject in sentences using manquer (at least in this specific context) is the thing being missed while the object is the one missing something.
If you don't already do so, please read through the comments before you ask questions to see if your question has already been answered.