I want to say, "I miss my old phone". How can I express it in Japanese? According to the dictionary '恋しい' is used. But I'ven't found examples where '恋しい' is used in the case of missing a non-living matter. I'm not sure if I can use 恋しい or not for non-living matters like '前の携帯が恋しい' for 'I miss my old phone.'

  • 2
    母の味(手料理)が恋しい is an example that we often use. Jul 25, 2021 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


This type of "miss" is tricky to translate. Options include:

  • (前の携帯が)なくてつらい, なくて大変だ: if you are actually having trouble because you don't have it
  • (前の携帯が)懐かしい: if you are just feeling nostalgic about it
  • (前の携帯が)あればいいのに
  • (前の携帯が)(今)欲しい
  • (前の携帯は)良かったな

If you reeeally loved your old phone, 恋しい is not a wrong choice, although it usually sounds exaggerated.

On a side note, when the object is a human, 恋しい is not always a safe choice because it can imply romantic love, as the kanji suggests. If you just want to say "I miss you" to your friend, consider using いなくて寂しい, 寂しくなるよ, 会いたいな or something.

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    @Lucas Can you say "I miss it" for something you haven't owned? For example, assuming I've never been an iPhone user, can I say "I miss an iPhone"?
    – naruto
    Jul 26, 2021 at 5:17
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    No, you can only miss things youve had. Also, if you did have an iPhone you would probably say "I miss having an iPhone"
    – Lucas
    Jul 26, 2021 at 6:26
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    @Lucas Then I think いいなあ never means "I miss ~".
    – naruto
    Jul 26, 2021 at 9:20
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    @naruto I don't know how precise your question was, but if it was very precise, then I disagree with Lucas: you can say "I miss it" for many things that you have never owned. You can miss feelings (I miss being carefree as a child), you can miss cities (I miss Portland), you can miss periodic events (I miss games night), you can miss things other people owned but that you interacted with (I miss your cat, I miss Joe's Xbox), and many more. Jul 26, 2021 at 18:51
  • 1
    As a follow up question, what if the object is a place and not a thing? Eg "I miss Japan" (which is true)
    – tcallred
    Jul 26, 2021 at 19:47

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