I also have all the vinyls and flexis, but I'm still missing a few tapes, the really old ones . I think miss would be better than is missing .

Does Is missing mean that the writer thinks that he is going to find them at the end?

It could take a lot of time but he will find them . What is the difference between I miss something and I am missing something meaning I dont have it?

1 Answer 1


1: I'm [still] missing a few tapes
I have found most of the previously-lost tapes, but a few haven't [yet] been found

2: I miss a few tapes
I often think longingly of a few tapes that I no longer have

I'm pretty sure that #1 can carry sense #2 in "Indian English", but that's certainly not true of "mainstream" English.

Unless still or some equivalent is included, nothing about #1 carries any implications as to whether the "missing" tapes will ever be found / replaced. But even if still is present, that simply implies the speaker is continuing to try and locate the outstanding items (a goal he may never actually achieve).

Note - missing is an ergative verb here, in that a few tapes in #1 is the object of the verb, but we can recast to make that the subject, with the same meaning (except in this particular case, rephrasing loses the original subject completely)...

1a: A few tapes are still missing

  • Is missing is better when used in the sense of I don't have it that is what you mean
    – Yves Lefol
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 10:33
  • Well, logically speaking if you miss something, you don't have it, so There are a few tapes I don't have is pragmatically entailed by #2 anyway. But the whole point of #2 is to to assert that the lack of those tapes is making the speaker feel sad. Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 10:38
  • 1
    "I'm missing" can have sense 2 in any dialect I can think of. For example, the line "I ain't missing you at all" (youtube.com/watch?v=k9e157Ner90), from a song by a Brit but which had great success in the US. Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 11:38
  • @DanielRoseman: I wouldn't even dignify "I ain't missing you at all" with the label "dialect". With apologies to any AAVE speakers who might get exercised (hardly relevant here, since it's from a Brit) I'd say it's just non-standard / substandard English. I don't deny that at the absolute margins, a competent native Anglophone might feasibly say I'm missing you (though virtually never uncontracted I am missing you) on the phone to her absent boyfriend, but people who want to learn English should stick with the default phrasing for that context: I miss you. Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 11:46

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