I can't understand how 「いる+寂しい」 means "to miss something" like in 「君がいなくて寂しいよ。」.



「いなくて」 is the te-form of 「いない」. (「いない」, of course, is the negative form of 「いる」.)

One of the functions of the te-form is to express a cause-and-effect relationship. Thus, 「いなく」 in this context is pretty much synonymous to 「いないので」 and 「いないから」.

Cause: 君がいない ("You are not here.")

Effect: 寂しい ("I am sad.")

So, the sentence literally means:

"I am sad because you are not here."

A freer translation would be:

"I am missing you."


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