Verbs: to miss or to lose?

Come dico “ho perso il treno”? “I missed the train” o “I lost the train”? La prima! Dato che puoi perdere (lose) un piccolo oggetto (come una penna) ma difficilmente perderai un treno. Il senso di “lose” è “che non lo trovi più”; “miss” è simile a “mancare”, (quindi “ho mancato il treno”), certo “I miss you” significa mi manchi, ma nessuno penserà che senti la mancanza del treno, a meno che non s’intenda proprio quello! BY MARK WORDEN – LANGUAGE LEVEL B2 (UPPER INTERMEDIATE)

Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

Italians are often confused by the verbs to miss and to lose. If, for example, you translate “Ho perso il treno” as “I lost the train” people will look at you rather (1) strangely. This is because although it is fairly easy to lose a small object like a ticket or a biro, it’s virtually impossible to lose a large object like a train. What you should say is “I missed the train.” But, as is so often the case (2), the verb to miss has many different meanings: a footballer, for example, can miss a goal or a penalty (3), and all of us can miss opportunities in life. And to miss also means “sentire la mancanza,” but here you must note that there is a difference in form between English and Italian. The Italian “mi manchi” in English is I miss you, and “senti la mia mancanza” is Do you miss me?
Here there is an amusing example: a few months into the presidency of Obama, Republicans around the country began to put up posters of a smiling George Bush, under which were written the words, “Miss Me Yet?”


1    rather: piuttosto
2    as is so often the case: come spesso accade
3    penalty: calcio di rigore

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