8 Ways Use Miss, Missed, & Missing – English Vocabulary Lesson

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The verb miss in English has a number of different uses and meanings. Today, let’s have a look at the most common ways to use miss.

We use miss when an object fails to reach its target:

  • The arrow missed the bull’s-eye.
  • Jack missed the trashcan when he threw the ball of paper.
  • The basketball star hardly ever misses a basket.

In sports, we use miss to mean someone fails to catch or throw or hit a ball:

  • The outfielder ran for the ball, but missed it.
  • The golf pro missed two putts in a row.
  • In baseball, if you swing and miss the ball, it’s called a strike.

We use miss when you don’t participate in or attend a usual or habitual event, like work or school:

  • Jenny missed a week of school because she caught the flu.
  • If you miss too much work, the boss will probably fire you.
  • I missed dance lessons this week because I had to work overtime.

We also use miss when you don’t hear or don’t understand what someone says:

  • There was a lot of noise in the station, so I missed the announcement.
  • I want to pay careful attention at the presentation. I don’t want to miss what they say.
  • I got a phone call during the award show, and I missed everything Johnny Depp said.

You can use miss when bad timing results in not seeing or meeting someone, or not riding a train or bus, etc:

  • I just missed seeing Tom. He left the office a few minutes before I arrived.
  • I was late getting to the station so I missed my train.
  • If we don’t hurry, we’ll miss seeing the beginning of the concert

Additionally, we use miss to mean avoid or escape from doing something:

  • I missed all of the traffic going to the mall by taking the back streets.
  • I tried to miss going to dinner with the boss, but he saw me trying to leave the office.
  • Jack said he missed the crowds at Disneyworld by going in mid-January.

You can use miss to mean omit, or skip:

  • I missed the last three questions in the exam because I ran out of time.
  • The marketing team missed several photos I sent them for the brochure.
  • Looks like you missed a few spots on the dish when you washed it.

We also use miss to mean feeling sadness because of not being able to be with a person:

  • Jack said he misses his family back in London.
  • I miss you so much! I can’t wait to see you again next week.
  • You’ll be gone for three weeks. I’m going to miss you.

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