How To Say I Miss You in Spanish

Language allows us to communicate and one of the most important expressions for human beings is feelings. There are many reasons why you would want to tell someone that you miss them, whether you are separated by distance or because you are anxiously waiting for them to come back to your side. Therefore, in this article, I will show you the different ways to say “I miss you” in Spanish.

Te extraño – I miss you

The most popular and direct of all, widely used in Latin America. Its literal translation is “te pierdo” and without a doubt, it is a more popular expression among couples than among family or friends. So if you miss a person with whom you have a very intimate relationship, this expression will be the most appropriate. 

Reflexive pronoun + Verb to miss

SpanishEnglish
Te extraño.I miss you.

We can also add a nickname and even a small diminutive, like this:

Reflexive pronoun + Verb to miss + Possessive pronoun + Nickname + (Diminutive) 

SpanishEnglish
Te extraño, mi amor(cito).I miss you, my (little) love.

Preceding the name or nickname to the expression is also another way of saying it. We can add an adverb of quantity at the end, like this:

Possessive pronoun + Nickname + Reflexive pronoun + Verb to miss + Adverb of quantity

SpanishEnglish
Mi amor, te extraño mucho.My love, I miss you so much.

If the person has already returned to where we are and we want to express how much we have missed him or her, we can use “te extrañé” instead of the verb in the present tense, since it will have the same meaning. 

Reflexive pronoun + Verb to miss + Adverb of quantity + Subject

SpanishEnglish
Te extrañé mucho, querida.I missed you very much, my dear.

Te echo de menos – I throw you less

This expression is used more in Spain than in other areas. However, its literal translation does not make much sense, since it means “I throw you less” and seeks to express the notable absence of a person in our lives. Very frequent among friends and family, it is formed in this way and, like “te extraño”, the verb can be used in the past tense in this way:

Subject + Reflexive pronoun + Verb to have  + Verb to throw + Preposition + Adverb of quantity ‘less’

SpanishEnglish
José, te he echado de menos.José, I have missed you.

Verb to throw + Preposition + Adverb of quantity ‘less’ + Preposition + Possessive pronoun + Subject

SpanishEnglish
(Yo) Echo de menos a mi familia.I miss my family

Verb to throw + Preposition + Adverb of quantity ‘less’ + Preposition + Subject +  Possessive pronoun + Kinship or Relationship

SpanishEnglish
(Yo) Echo de menos a Juana, mi hermana.I miss Juana, my sister.

Me haces falta – You make me lacking

This expression, like “te extraño”, is not a literal translation. Popularly used throughout Latin America, it expresses the need for the presence of the person we are referring to as if we were an incomplete puzzle that needs a missing piece to be complete. It indicates the emptiness that the absence of that person has left in our life, and is expressed as follows:

Subject + Reflexive pronoun + Verb to do + Lack (of presence)

SpanishEnglish
Karina, me haces falta.Karina, I miss you. / Karina, I need you.

Subject + Reflexive pronoun + Verb to have (past) + Verb to do (present) + Indefinite determiner pronoun + Lack (of presence)

SpanishEnglish
Mamá, me has hecho tanta falta…Mom, I’ve missed you so much…

Te añoro / Te anhelo – I long for you

This phrase with a deep romantic context was used in ancient times by poets and distinguished people with a formal and refined lexicon. Nowadays it is not widely used, however, some modern writers and poets employ it in some of their texts. 

Reflexive pronoun + Verb + to long for or to yearn for

SpanishEnglish
Te añoro.I long for you.
Te anhelo.I yearn for you.

Te necesito – I need you

Related to “me haces falta” it expresses more directly and explicitly the need for someone’s presence in our lives. Used widely in both Latin America and Spain, it is expressed in the following way.

Subject + Reflexive pronoun + Verb to need 

SpanishEnglish
Querido, te necesito.Dear, I need you.

To express to a third person how much another person misses him or her, it would be said in the following way:

Subject + Third-person you refer to + Reflexive pronoun + Verb to need

SpanishEnglish
Carlos, Amanda te necesita.Carlos, Amanda needs you.

Take note: This formula works for any of the above phrases if you want to express them to a third person.

We can also say “I miss you” with other related phrases like the ones we will mention below. Their use is more spontaneous and deliberate than the phrases we have seen above, so we will talk a little more about them. 

¿Cuándo vuelves?/regresas? – When are you coming back?

We can say that we miss someone before they leave by using this expression. The phrase “you haven’t left and I’ve already started to miss you” is directly related to this one, being “¿cuándo vuelves?” an indirect, colloquial and brief way of expressing it.

Relative adverb + Verb to return or to come

SpanishEnglish
¿Cuándo volverás? / ¿Cuándo regresarás?When will you come back?
¿Cuándo vuelves? / ¿Cuándo regresas?When are you coming back?

¡Regresa ya! – Come back now!

If you want a person you miss to come back, you can use this phrase to express how anxious you are for them to return or that you want them to be by your side now. It is an exclamatory expression that is also used to indicate a command. However, in this case it is synonymous with “Vuelve, por favor” (“Come back, please”).

Subject + (expression of asking) Verb to return or to come + Adverb of time ‘now’

SpanishEnglish
¡Jorge, (por favor) regresa ya! Jorge, (please) come back now! 

¡No puedo vivir sin ti! – I can’t live without you!

This is a particularly romantic or emotional phrase, which dramatically expresses the need for the presence of the loved one. It expresses the pain of the absence of a loved one, while at the same time expressing the need to have them by our side.

Negation + Verb to can + Verb to be or to live + Preposition + Reflexive pronoun

SpanishEnglish
¡No puedo estar sin ti!I can’t be without you!
¡No puedo vivir sin ti!I can’t live without you!

Desearía que estuvieras aquí – I wish you were here

The desire to be close to someone is something that comes naturally among people in love or with whom we have a very strong bond. If you miss someone who is far away and there is nothing you want more than to be close to this person, this expression is the right one to express it. Like the rest, it is widely used both in Latin America and Spain, and although it is usually said to some special family members or close friends, it is more commonly said in romantic contexts, in the following ways: 

Expression of desire + Relative pronoun + Verb to be + Adverb of place + Personal pronoun (optional)

SpanishEnglish
(Yo) Desearía que estuvieras aquí.I wish you were here.
Me gustaría que estuvieras aquí.I’d like you to be here.
(Yo) Quisiera que estuvieras aquí conmigo.I wish you were here with me.

Final Thoughts

In Spanish, there are many expressions to say what we feel and how we feel. A clear example of this are the different ways to say “I miss you” in Spanish that we have just learned. I hope this article has helped you to better understand the different Spanish expressions to say “te extraño” and to put them into practice. 

Veruska A. Ortega

I'm a 23 year old Venezuelan native. I am also a language freak who can speak 6 languages so far. My favorite is Spanish (obviously) and I love to help people learn it as well as a native speaker. I have been a writer for more than 6 years and helping English speakers learn Spanish has been a dream come true.

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