How To Say 'I Miss You' In Spanish (European + Latin American)

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How To Say 'I Miss You' In Spanish (European + Latin American)

This is the guide you need if you’re looking for different ways to say ‘I miss you’ in Spanish.

I know how important this phrase is (especially with travel restrictions), so I’ve gone into considerable detail, including European and Latin American Spanish variations.

Also, be sure to check out my guide on how to say I love you in Spanish too.

How do we say ‘I miss you’ in Spanish?

The phrase you’re looking for if your significant other, son, daughter, father or mother is visiting their European Spanish family (and they speak European Spanish) is te echo de menos.

If the person you miss has gone to Latin America, you’ll want to tell them: te extraño.

Both of these phrases mean ‘I miss you’, but as I mentioned, te echo de menos is used in Spain, whereas te extraño is typically heard in Latin America.

Common phrases used with te echo de menos/ te extraño

Here are a few common phrases used with te echo de menos/ te extraño:

¿Cuándo vas a volver/regresar?When are you going to come back?
Deseo que estuvieras aquíI wish you were here
Te echo de menos tanto que dueleI miss you so much it hurts
Desearía que te quedarasI wish you stayed

How should you reply when someone tells you they miss you in Spanish?

If your loved one tells you they miss you or says te echo de menos, and you’re looking for the right way to respond in European Spanish, you could say:

Yo también a ti

Here’s an example:

¿Cuando vas a volver? Yo sé que me echas de menos… y yo también a ti.

When are you coming back? I know you miss me... and I miss you too.

If your loved one is from Latin America and tells you te extraño, you could respond by saying:

Te extraño también

Take a look at our example:

¿Regresarás el próximo jueves? Lo sé me extrañas. Yo también te extraño.

You're coming back next Thursday? I know you miss me. I miss you too.

Why te echo de menos doesn’t directly translate in English

Keep in mind that the European Spanish phrase te echo de menos doesn’t work as a direct translation to English because it’s an idiomatic expression.

A literal translation would give you something like ‘I noticed you missing’, which doesn’t do the phrase justice at all.

No, if you’re looking to understand the phrase te echo de menos, it’s best to avoid a literal translation and take it to mean ‘I miss you’.

But keep reading (just below) to find out how to emphasize this phrase.

Emphasizing how much you miss someone with mucho and muchisimo

Say the person you’re missing has been gone for six months — (and we hope it hasn’t been this long!) — you’re going to want to emphasize how much you miss them.

Enter the modifiers mucho and muchisimo.

The modifier mucho translates to English as ‘a lot’, and the modifier muchisimo means ‘very very much’, so you can see why they’re important in this context.

Where should the modifiers go in the phrases te echo de menos and te extraño?

In the European Spanish expression, the modifier mucho and muchisimo are usually heard after the verb echar.

And in the Latin American Spanish expression, the modifiers mucho and muchisimo are usually heard after the verb extrañar.

Here are some examples to clarify this:

Espero que te vuelvas pronto. Te echo mucho de menos.

I hope you come back soon. I miss you a lot.

Que te vuelvas en cuanto antes. Te echo muchísimo de menos.

I hope you come back as soon as possible. I miss you very very much.

¿Cuándo regresarás? Te extraño mucho.

When do you come back? I miss you a lot.

Espero que te regreses pronto. Te extraño muchísimo.

I hope you come back soon. I miss you very very much.

Using the subjunctive tense for phrases often used with ‘I miss you’ in Spanish

Did you notice, if you’re studying at an intermediate level, that some of the phrases commonly used alongside the te echo de menos or te extraño use the subjunctive tense?

Two of the examples I’ve included above are some cases of this:

Espero que te vuelvas pronto. (European Spanish)

I hope you come back soon.

Espero que te regreses pronto. (Latin America)

I hope you come back soon.

The question is, why do the verbs vuelvas and regreses take the subjunctive form in these cases?

Two main reasons for this (that are linked together) are:

  1. The conjunction que sometimes indicates that two separate subjects are present in the sentence. In this case — the speaker (yo) and the person being spoken to (tu) are present in the sentence. Grammatically, where you notice the conjunction que and you have one subject speaking about another subject, sometimes the verb takes the subjunctive form. This is particularly the case when…
  2. The first subject (yo) is expressing a desire, doubt, hypothetical statement, wish or hope. In this case, the speaker ‘hopes’ the second subject returns soon. It’s a classic Spanish subjunctive moment!

Start expressing how much you miss your loved one in Spanish!

So, there you have it.

Time to tell someone you miss them in Spanish. Remember, if someone tells you they miss you, you’ll need to either say:

Yo también a ti. (European Spanish)

or

Te extraño también. (Latin American Spanish)

A little tip to help you, before we go, is that aside from your Spanish course, listening to Spanish love songs is a great way to learn new contexts related to the phrases te echo de menos or te extraño.

They’re not for everyone, but you can learn a lot from them.


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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek
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