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The Spanish language and culture are rich in passion and ways to express affection. But what’s thebestway to tell someone “I love you” in Spanish?
After all, in English, we tend to overuse the word “love”. We love this show, and we love that book. We love our parents, our kids, and our spouses. We love our friends, we love our jobs.
And even thoughallof those forms of “love” are different, they’re expressed with the same word: “love”.
In Spanish, that’s not the case. There are many options for expressing your affection!
In fact, it’s one of the things I like about Spanishthat English is missing. You can concisely share your like, love or evenenchantmentin Spanish, using different expressions.
Table of contents
- How to Say “I Love You” in Spanish
- If You’re Looking for Something More Low-Key, Here’s an Option
- How to Say “Beautiful” in Spanish
- How to Say “My Love” in Spanish
- How to Say “You’re My Other Half” in Spanish
- How to Say “My Heart” in Spanish
- How to Say “My Darling” in Spanish
- How to Say “Sexy” in Spanish
- How to Say “Cute” in Spanish
- How to Say “I Can’t Live Without You” in Spanish
- How to Say “Amazing” in Spanish
- You’re Ready to Be Romantic in Spanish!
As I mentioned above, saying “I love you” in Spanish depends on the context, situation and what or who you’re talking about.
Most people have learned thatte amomeans “I love you” in Spanish, and it does. But this is a very serious, deep love. It’s used mostly between spouses and when announcing your love, such as while proposing.
Another way to say “I love you” iste quiero. Here’s where those degrees of affection come in.
Te quieroliterally means, “I want you,” but that’s a poor translation, in my opinion. This phrase doesn’t quite translate at all in English, because we have no equivalent at that degree.
To say “I want you” in English has a lusty sound to it, and is not veryromantic. But in Spanish, a better translation is “I want you in my life.” It’s a step down fromte amo, and usually said when you’re in a committed relationship, but not necessarily married (or at least, not yet).
And with both phrases, you can make them more passionate by addingmucho(“very much”).Te amo muchoorte quiero muchoboth mean “I love you very much.”
A less direct way to express your love is to saySignificas mucho para mí. This means “You mean so much to me.”
Here are a couple more ways to express romantic affection in Spanish:
- Me gustas: “I like you”. The play-it-safe approach to expressing your affection in those early days of dating.
- Me caes bien: Also “I like you”. It’s a step down fromme gustas, and more friendly.
- Me encantas: “I adore you” or “You enchant me”. It’s more romantic thanme gustasandme caes bien, but it’s less serious thante quiero.
What about talking to family or friends? Usually,te quierois for that kind of platonic love, or even affection for your pets. And if you’re wondering, “love” for things like objects or hobbies would be eitherme gusta(“I like”) orme encanta(“I’m enchanted by”, “I strongly like”).
In Spanish, there arequite a few ways you can talk about someone’s beautyor attractiveness.
To say “beautiful” in Spanish, it’shermosaorhermoso. This is the strongest way to say “beautiful” and it’s similar to “striking” or “gorgeous”.
Becausehermosais so strong, it’s more common to usebellaorbello(“beautiful” or “lovely”), though. To just say “beauty” as a noun, it’sbelleza.
To call someone “pretty”, you usebonitaorbonito. This is more casual, almost like saying “You look nice” instead of “You look beautiful”. It’s still a nice compliment, though, and can be used to talk about anything.
And to say someone is “handsome” or “attractive”, you sayguapoorguapa. It’s more common to hear women calledbonita, and menguapo. But, unlike English, these terms aren’t gender exclusive. Sometimesguapois also used to say someone or something is “cool”.
In Latin America, it’s most common to describe someone’s beauty aslindaorlindo, which means “lovely”.
To call someone “my love” in Spanish, you can saymi amor. You could also make the word cuter by adding the diminutives-ito. Somi amorbecomesmi amorcito(“my little love”). It can be used for anyone, but it’s most often used for children to add cuteness.
Spanish has alotofcutesy and romantic nicknamesyou could use if you want some variety. Here are a few:
- Mi vida: “My life”
- Mi sol: “My sun”
- Mi rey/reina: “My king/queen”
- Dulzura: “Sweetness”
- Mi querido/a: “My dear”
In Spanish, they have a sweet, unique phrase to tell someone “you’re my other half.” It’seres mi media naranja, which translates as “you’re my half orange.” It’s best used for serious relationships, obviously, but it’s a cute and humorous way to say “my better half” like in English.
Why an orange? There are quite a few theories, but one explanation is that the dome of a church (cúpulaorcimborrio) is also sometimes calledmedia naranja. So it represents something beloved, a gift from heaven. Another theory is that every orange is different, and there can only be one perfect match for a half-orange.
Because it’s used to say someone is your perfect match, it’s also used to say “my soulmate”. But you could also usealma gemela(“soulmate”). That’s just a heavier way to say it, whilemedia naranjais lighthearted.
It’s a fun expression… Even more when you learn thatmediain Spanish also means sock, primarily in Latin America. It’s a common pun to mean “you’re my orange sock” when using the phrase!
Another romantic way to express your love is to call someone “my heart”, which ismi corazón. There are a few romantic phrases we can use with this, too:
- Tienes todo mi corazón: “You have all my heart”
- Mi corazón es tuyo: “My heart is yours”
- Te amo con todo mi corazón: “I love you with all my heart”
- Mi corazón late por ti: “My heart beats for you”
Talk about sparking some romance!
In English, there are so many nicknames we call our lovers: darling, dear, babe, sweetheart. We’ve talked about some of them so far, but here are some other common nicknames for your loved one.
- Cariño: This is one of the most common nicknames you’ll hear. It has many different meanings: “sweetie”, “darling”, “dear”, “love”, “honey”, etc. It captures a lot of English nicknames in one.
- Cielo: It means “sky”, but it also translates as “heaven” or “paradise”. So you’re calling someone your own slice of heaven here on earth. It’s pretty romantic! Make it cuter withmi cielito(“my little heaven”).
- Bebé: “Baby” in Spanish, but essentially used the same as “babe” or “baby” in English when talking to your loved one. You could also usenenafor “babe”.
“Sexy” in Spanish is the same as it is in English:sexy. Although, you’ll see it written assexias well because it’s a better fit for Spanish pronunciation and spelling.
If you want to call someone “hot”, though,don’t usecaliente!Hot as we use it in English doesn’t directly translate to Spanish.
Calienteis used for hot food, yes, but when talking about a person? It means you’re horny, not “hot/sexy”.
Instead, there can be different terms that you can use, depending on the Hispanic region. Some will just sayguapo/a, others would usericura(although this one will likely get you a slap on the face if you don’t use it in the right situation).
“Cute” in Spanish doesn’t havequitethe exact translation. But there are a few ways you could get the same idea across.
Ricoorricais one way to say someone is “cute”, but it also means “sexy” or even “rich”. Sexy and cute don’t normally go together in English, but this word captures both.
Monoandmonaalso mean “cute” as an adjective, like “nice-looking”.
Andlindaorlindo, which we covered earlier, can also mean “cute”. Evenlisto, which means “ready”, “clever” or “prepared”, can also be used for cute.
Still looking for a different, special way to say how much you love someone? Here are some romantic phrases to express your love:
- No puedo vivir sin ti: “I can’t live without you”
- Te necesito: “I need you”
- Te echo de menos mi amor: “I miss you, my love”
- No puedo esperar a verte: “I can’t wait to see you”
- Estoy loco por ti: “I’m crazy about you”
- Quiero estar contigo para siempre: “I want to be with you forever”
- Estoy pensando en ti: “I’m thinking of you”
- Eres el amor de mi vida: “You’re the love of my life”
There isn’t only one way to say “amazing” in Spanish – there are a few words that work. You could useincreíble(“incredible”),asombroso(“astounding”) ormaravilloso(“marvellous”). All of them have similar meanings. So if you want to tell your loved one they’re amazing, sayEres increíble!
And if you want to know how to talk about your feelings, the word in Spanish issentimientos– a “sentiment”.
You could saySiento algo por ti(“I have feelings for you”) ortengo sentimientos por ti, but the latter one would sound a bit strange.Sentimientosis more general feelings, not just loved ones, so usingme encantaswould sound more natural.
If you want to express thosesentimientosthough, these phrases can help:
- Estoy enamorada/enamorado: “I’m in love”
- Estoy saliendo con alguien: “I’m dating someone”
- Siento que es amor verdadero: “If feel like it’s true love”
- No puedo dejar de pensar en él / ella.: “I can’t stop thinking about him/her.”
And if you want to pop the big question in Spanish:
¿Te casarías conmigo?(“Will you marry me?”)
Whether it’s complimenting someone or sharing your feelings, you can now open your heart in Spanish.
If you want to share your love for languages, that’s great too! You should give theLanguage Hacking podcasta listen, that’s where all language lovers like you share their stories and talk about their favourite learning tips.
If want to browse more posts on the blog, here are some good options:
- 85 Cute Nicknames from Around the World (with Translations)
- 70 Terms of Endearment from Around the World (for Those You Love)
- Dabble Spanish
- 101 Common Spanish Phrases to Start Speaking Spanish Right Now
- Best Podcast to Learn Spanish? SpanishPod101 In-depth Review With Pros and Cons
Founder, Fluent in 3 Months
Fun-loving Irish guy, full-time globe trotter and international bestselling author. Benny believes the best approach to language learning is to speak from day one.
Speaks: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, Dutch, Irish
View all posts by Benny Lewis