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Is It Correct to Say “You Are Missed”?

When we talk about “missing” something, it can have many meanings, but our intention is a lot more specific when we talk about missing a person. You may wonder whether you can say “You are missed” and when this might be appropriate. 

It is correct to say “You are missed” to convey that you feel somebody’s absence. We often prefer “We miss you” instead, but the passive construction is sometimes more polite. For example, we might tell someone about something we enjoyed together in the past and say, “You are missed.” 

This article will explore the meaning of “You are missed” as well as how and when we can best use it. We’ll also consider alternatives and other ways to use the passive voice in polite expressions in English. 

What Does “You Are Missed” Mean?

When we say, “You are missed,” we are addressing someone (“you”) and telling them that we are sad they are not present and that their absence is felt (source). It is in the passive voice, meaning that the subject (you) undergoes the action of being missed.

The verb “miss” is a transitive verb with many definitions. Below is a summary of the most common (source). “Missed” is the past tense and past participle of the verb. 

DefinitionExample Sentence
Fail to reach or contactHis shot will miss the target.
Fail to perform or attendI may need to miss the meeting tonight.
Leave out or omitI missed breakfast because I was running late.
Feel the absence ofHe missed his daughter when she left for college.
Fail to understandIf I don’t concentrate, I’ll miss the critical points of this presentation.
Escape or avoidHe narrowly missed hitting the cat.

As you will notice from this table of definitions, when we refer to a person, it’s in the context of feeling their absence. So, when we say “You are missed,” we mean we feel your absence.

“Are” comes from the verb “to be.” We use it in the plural as well as second person singular (source). The table below shows how we conjugate the verb in the present tense.

Pronoun SubjectVerb “To Be”Sentence
IamI am happy.
You (singular)areYou are happy.
He/she/itisShe is happy.
WeareWe are happy.
You (plural)areYou are happy.

In this sentence, “you” is the subject. It is a pronoun we use to refer to the person spoken or written to. When we create a passive sentence such as this one, we use a subject (you), followed by a form of the verb “to be” (are), followed by a past participle (missed). 

How Do You Use “You Are Missed”?

We use “You are missed” to convey to someone that we noted and felt their absence. The passive construction makes it less personal, so we are likelier to use it in a polite setting. 

“You are missed” is a complete sentence we can utilize independently. However, it needs some context for the reader to understand why or in what way “You are missed.” We could either add a phrase to the existing sentence or add another sentence to give this context, as shown below.

  • You are missed when we reminisce about all the fun we had in the office.
  • We often reminisce about the fun times we had. You are certainly missed!

When Can You Use “You Are Missed”?

You can use “You are missed” any time you want to express that you regret the absence of someone and want them to know that. For example, you could use it when addressing an individual in conversation or informal written communication such as a text message or email.

Image by Brett Jordan via Pexels 

Because it’s a polite way of expressing the sentiment, it’s likely to be seen in interactions between colleagues or acquaintances. With close friends or family, we are more likely to say, “We miss you.”

Sometimes, we may use the construction “You are missed” to emphasize that we miss someone. For example, perhaps there’s been a family event, such as a birthday dinner, where the person we’re addressing was absent. In this case, you might describe the event and then say, “You were missed so much!” to accentuate that their absence was felt.

Using “You Are Missed” in a Full Sentence

As we’ve already mentioned, “You are missed” is a full sentence, but it requires more information to give it context. It can come at a sentence’s beginning, middle, or end.

Let’s consider the examples below.

  • Know that you are missed when we remember our fun times.
  • You are missed every time I look at the gift you gave me.
  • You are missed each and every day.
  • Nobody can understand these spreadsheets. You are so missed!
  • It’s times like these that you are really missed.
  • Your skills are unparalleled. You are sorely missed!

As you can see, the rest of the sentence’s words explain how or why the person is missed. We can often place an adverb ahead of the past participle “missed” to stress how much someone is missed. In the last three examples, we’ve used “so,” “really,” and “sorely.” You can use others too, like “hugely,” “definitely,” or “greatly.”

“You are missed” is in the present tense. If you’d like to think about the same sentence in the future tense, read our article Is It Correct to Say “You Will Be Missed”?

When Not to Use “You Are Missed”

We would not use “You are missed” if we don’t miss the person we are addressing. We also wouldn’t likely use it in a familiar setting because we usually default to “I miss you.”

You should only use “You are missed” when the passive construction is appropriate. Teachers often advise English students to use the active voice and avoid passive constructions. However, because it sometimes sounds more polite, there are times when the passive voice is appropriate to use.

Because “You are missed” directly addresses the subject “you,” we only use it when directly addressing someone. We wouldn’t use it in any formal context and would likely avoid writing it unless we were sending an informal text or email.

What Can You Use Instead of “You Are Missed”?

The most obvious alternative to “You are missed” would be “I miss you” or “We miss you.” However, there are other ways we can express the same sentiment, depending on context.

Let’s consider the following sentences that have a similar meaning to “You are missed.” 

  • I/we miss you.
  • Your absence is felt.
  • I/we regret your departure.
  • I/we lament your absence.
  • I am sorry you left.
  • I/we wish you were here.

As in all cases in Engish, context is essential, so it would depend on who you were addressing and your relationship with them before you could choose the most appropriate alternative.

Polite Expressions in the Passive Voice

We sometimes use the passive voice to be less personal and create some distance from the person we are addressing. As a result, we deliver many English expressions in the passive voice.

Image by Adi Goldstein via Unsplash

We use the passive voice to alter the focus of action. For example, in the active voice, we would say, “I baked a cake.” Changing this to the passive voice, we could say, “A cake was baked.

But why would we opt for “A cake was baked” over “I baked a cake”? Perhaps we are trying to avoid getting attention for our baking skills, or maybe we are in a setting where it does not matter who baked the cake. In either case, the passive form is more acceptable than the active.

Consider the sentences below written in both the active and passive voice and notice how the passive version is less direct and more polite.

  • Active: You made an error on the spreadsheet.
  • Passive: An error was made on the spreadsheet.
  • Active: You must do something to change this.
  • Passive: Something must be done to change this. 

As you will see, the active sentences can seem somewhat aggressive. However, they are neutralized and less accusatory when we change them to the passive voice. Furthermore, they are not directed at “you” and are less personal.

An active voice indicates that the actor is the subject, while a passive voice suggests that the subject is acted upon (source). We often use constructions like “It is thought that…” or “It is said that…” to introduce a thought in the passive voice and make it more polite and diplomatic. We also use it to avoid blaming an individual. 

When we use the passive voice, we are much less confrontational and also somewhat non-committal. We are not detailing who needs to action something, but instead that we require some action. You can read more on this topic in our article Is It Correct to Say “All Are Welcomed”?

Final Thoughts

After examining the sentence “You are missed,” you should now be clear on when and where to use it appropriately. It’s a polite expression that we employ in informal settings. 

It’s interesting to note that we use the passive construction often in English and other languages to make the language more cordial and less personal. That said, it’s always good to know when you have been missed!