Wondering how to say I love you in Spanish and other romantic phrases? In this post we will cover all of that.
As a native Mexican, I will tell you absolutely all the possible ways we know how to say I love you in different situations and occasions.
As you might know, the Spanish language is very romantic, so we have different ways to express love, affection, appreciation, or care.
Many if not all of our different expressions are used not only in a romantic way but also to love or care about objects, moments, animals, and more.
My article will of course be a great tool for you to improve your Spanish skills, but it will also be a very entertaining and useful insight into this very interesting and passionate language.
Let’s get on with it 🙂
How to Say “I Love You” in Spanish
“Yo te amo” or “te amo” is how we say “I love you” in Spanish.
If you are familiar with the Spanish language, you know that you can always add “mucho” to mean “I love you very much” and the translation would be “yo te amo mucho.”
It’s important to note that younger generations have started to use the word more among close friends and with family.
In previous generations, perhaps for people older than 35 now, the word was reserved for romantic love.
Te amo vs Te quiero- what is the difference?
The great José José explained it in his very famous song “Amar y querer” (To Love and To want)
Casi todos sabemos querer (Almost all of us know how to like)
Pero pocos sabemos amar (but only few know how to love)
Es que amar y querer no es igual (The thing is loving and like are not the same)
Amar es sufrir querer es gozar (To love is to suffer, to like is to enjoy)
The above is an excerpt from a song that became famous at the end of the 1970s, and while the singer is Mexican, he is well-known and extremely popular throughout almost the entire spanish-speaking world.
Then, based on the above text, one can deduce that the word AMAR literally means “TO LOVE” and the word QUERER literally means “TO LIKE.” So, “te amo” means “I love you,” whereas “te quiero” means “I like you.”
However, there is a necessary clarification to make because QUERER has two meanings, which can be translated into “to like” as a way to appreciate somebody and express affection for them and to want something (not desire thought
To express desire, we use “TE DESEO,” which literally means “I want you”.
However, if we use TE DESEO as a transitive verb, such as TE DESEO mucho exito, it means that we wish something positive to the person, in this case, “I wish you a lot of success”
To clarify even further, when we say TE AMO and TE QUIERO, we are 100% talking about love for the other person, whether it is a partner, friend, or family member, but TE QUIERO in the Spanish language is typically not associated with romanticism.
Let’s see how to express love in different situations and towards different people.
How to say I love you in Spanish to a boyfriend, girlfriend, and/or romantic love
We have already gone through the difference between “Te amo” and “te quiero”, but there are many other phrases that we can use to say I love you in Spanish.
Some of the different ways to express your love in Spanish can be very intense, so use them accordingly and keep the emotions in check.
► Me encantas or me fascinas – The meaning of “me encantas” is: “I am crazy about you”. (The literal translation is “you enchant me”)
We use this phrase to express your love and admiration of someone mixed with desire.
Using these phrases is the perfect way to express the love of the person, physical, and of personality traits.
► Me traes de un ala – this one is mainly Mexican slang. The literal translation is: “You bring me from one wing”. This means that the other person has us “hanging” somehow on how attracted we are to him or her. This is a Spanish phrase that was used more in the romantic language of the past.
► Te necesito – This Spanish phrase is used as a way to tell someone “I need you”. We would use it for example in a romantic letter (or email) to the loved one. This phrase can be combined with another one: “Te extraño” and the literal translation is “I miss you”.
► Eres mi mundo / Eres mi todo – These phrases mean “you are my world” and “you are my all”. The context in which the phrase would be used would be maybe when someone is proposing marriage or even during a potential breakup, mainly to try to stop it from happening.
► Eres el amor de mi vida – This phrase translates to “you are the love of my life”. There are a lot of situations in which this phrase is used but I would say it is found in a lot of songs, movies and soap operas.
► Eres mi alma gemela – Spanish speakers use this phrase to say, “you are my soulmate”, and it also has the generational nuance. Younger people now use it with friends too, before, it was only used to express romantic love.
► Me haces muy feliz – The context in which this Spanish phrase is used, would be mainly while in a serious relationship and the literal translation is “you make me very happy”.
► Estoy enamorada de ti – This Spanish phrase translates to “I am in love with you”. I believe everyone in Latin America would say that you can tell anyone (or anything) “TE AMO” but you can only say: “Estoy enamorada o enamorado” to a romantic partner.
► Me diste toloache – This is Spanish language slang too. Toloache is a flower whose scientific name is “Datura Ferox” or “Datura stramonium” and it is known as the “love flower” in México as it is said to be used in some sort of “witchcraft” for love.
So, when we say that someone gave us “Toloache” it metaphorically means that we were drugged with this flower, and we basically have no free will because of it. We mean that we are on a spell of love for our romantic partner.
► Mi corazón es tuyo – This is a very romantic way in Spanish to mean “my heart is yours”.
► Estoy loca (o) por ti – Spanish speakers use this phrase to say “I am crazy about you”.
► Te adoro – Even if this phrase is used in romantic love, it is also used to express your love to a friend or to family members. The literal translation is “I adore you”.
► Me quitas el aliento – Within this passionate language we find beautiful Spanish phrases like this one to help men and women express their deep love to someone and it means “you take my breath away”.
► Soy tuya / Soy tuyo – A Spanish phrase to express to your partner that you belong to him or her. It means “I am yours”.
► Me traes cacheteando las banquetas / Me traes babeando – 2 more funny and romantic phrases that belong to the Mexican slang and they are used to say that we have turned into pets or even slaves of some sort for someone. “Me traes cacheteando las banquetas” means “you have me hitting the sidewalks” and “Me traes babeando” means “you have me drooling for you”.
The context in which these were used (as I don’t see them being used much these days), was mainly when trying to get someone’s attention.
👉 Lastly, you should remember that we can always add “mucho” to te quiero as well: “te quiero mucho” and it means, “I care for you a lot”.
How to say “I love you” in Spanish to a friend, family member, or platonic love
As mentioned before, TE AMO and TE QUIERO are 2 short phrases that Spanish speakers use as a very common way to express love to friends, and family members, and for romantic love.
Still, friends and family use other common expressions that are not romantic, such as:
► “Me caes bien” – This Spanish phrase is used a lot for all kinds of people, from strangers that become an acquaintance for a day, to work colleagues or close friends. It means literally “You fall good on me” but it basically means “I like you”.
► Eres mi mejor amiga (o) – This is the way to tell someone “You are my best friend”. In the Spanish language, “mejor amiga” has a strong value.
► Te aprecio – I appreciate you. This phrase can be used as the best way to express gratitude for having someone in your life.
► Eres lo máximo – The literal translation of this Spanish phrase is “you are the maximum”, but to make sense colloquially you can use it to mean “you are the best of the best!”
► When it comes to platonic love, depending on the context, we can use romantic love phrases or family and friends’ phrases.
In Latin America, the most common platonic love is the one that we feel for famous actors or actresses, for example, I will always say “estoy enamorada de Jason Momoa” and I mean, “I am in love with Jason Momoa”. Do you think that’s platonic, or do I have a chance? Hehe.
What To Say When You’re Getting to Know Someone
Some of the common phrases to use in Spanish when you are getting to know someone, being it for a romantic relationship or just for friendship are:
► Me caes bien – This is a non-romantic casual way to express to someone that we appreciate having met them recently, the things we have in common and being able to share time and space.
► Me gustas – This is one of the main ways we express to our romantic interests that we are physically attracted to them.
I believe Spanish speakers feel certain about using this phrase after one date or two. “Me gustas” means “I like you” “I am attracted” “I am interested”. It is definitely used to leave the door open.
► Eres muy interesante – This is a very “smart-casual” Spanish phrase and it translates to “You are very interesting”. It is my opinion as a woman that “eres muy interesante” is one of the most appreciated phrases by intelligent and independent women. A great context for it would be during 2 people being engaged in a deep conversation and/or when getting to know someone that is highly intellectual or someone with great life stories.
► Tenemos mucho en común – This is the best way to let someone know that you have things in common. Once again, meeting someone with whom we have spent a few hours talking about everything, or, maybe during a new activity and reflecting on a potential new friendship.
► ¡Hay que salir! – This one is super common when you meet a person that you liked and enjoyed spending time with, be it for romantic purposes or not.
If you want to spend more time with him or her, a casual way to say it is: ¡Hay que salir! And it translates to “Let’s hang out!”
How To Say I love you” in a Relationship
Almost all the words and phrases that we have gone over can be used in a serious relationship to express love, affection, want, and appreciation.
As romantic as the Spanish language can be, a very common way to address a partner is by using terms of endearment.
A fun fact is that some people call each other “babe or baby” as English speakers do, and the literal translation is “bebé or nena”. 2nd fun fact: I hate being called like that! Hehe.
Also, a lot of people come up with other cute words and terms like “Bug” “chubby” and “shorty” which translate to “Bicho” “Gordito” or “chaparrita” for example.
What To Say When You’re Engaged
When we are asked about marriage or when we propose to someone, we want to share it right away with close friends, close family, and colleagues, so, for that, we also have different ways to let our world know that we are finally engaged!
You can say:
¡Nos vamos a casar! ¡Me voy a casar! – What these phrases mean is “We are getting married!” and “I am getting married!”
¡Estamos comprometidos! ¡Nos comprometimos! – These translate to “We are engaged!”
¡Me pidió matrimonio! ¡Le pedí matrimonio! – These are used to say “He/she asked me to marry him/her!” or, “I asked him/her to marry me!”
¡Le propuse matrimonio! ¡Me propuso matrimonio! – These are used to tell a family member or a friend for example “I proposed to (her or him)!” or “He/she proposed!”
¡Dijo que si! – This is a super cute way to express how excited we are about the acceptance of the proposal we made. The literal translation is “He/she said yes!”
In Latin American Spanish it’s still extremely rare that a woman asks a man to marry her. This is still the man’s job, so, when asking for marriage, this is what they say:
¿Te quieres casar conmigo? ¿Te casas conmigo? ¡Me quiero casar contigo! ¡Casemonos! These romantic phrases mean: “Do you want to marry me?” “Marry me?” “I want to marry you!” “Let ‘s get married!”
¡Unamos nuestras vidas! – this phrase includes the right words to say to someone “Let’s join our lives!”
¡Se mia! – A bit possessive and for some romantic, this short phrase means “Be mine!”
¡Construyamos una vida juntos! – Spanish speakers in a serious relationship can use this phrase to tell their special someone “Let’s build a life together”.
How to say I like you in Spanish
The several translations for “I like you” are: “Me gustas”, “Me encantas”, “Me caes bien”, “Me vibras”. There are plenty of contexts in which these Spanish phrases can be used. We have gone through them above.
In Spanish, these phrases will be used within a conversation and mainly to express agreement to things said or when finding things in common with another person in a non-romantic way.
The 2 phrases that are also used in romantic relationships are “Me gustas” and “Me encantas”.
How to say “my love” in Spanish
Fun fact joke: Did you know that in México men always have the final word (say) when in a relationship with a woman?
The word (say) is: “¡Si mi amor!” (Yes my love!)😂 I guess that’s universal!
Does it sound funnier in Spanish?
This is a very common way for a man to be funny amongst his pals and make his woman feel special and make her laugh.
What the joke wants to say is that the man is no macho and that he does everything that the woman wants while still preserving his “manhood”.
Anyway, the literal translation to “My love” in Spanish is “Mi amor” and a cute term of endearment is “Mi amorcito” which means “My tiny love”.
How do I respond to “Te Amo” in Spanish?
Whenever a partner or even a friend tells you “Te Amo ” we respond in spanish: “Yo también” (me too) or “Yo también te amo” (I too love you).
You can also be funny by saying: “Yo te amo más” and that means, “I love you more”.
And, to use more words, you can respond “Y yo a ti te amo con todo mi corazón”. This means “And I too love you with all my heart”
How to Say “Beautiful” in Spanish
Contrary to English, the words to express “beautiful” are gender-based, and so, every one of the words that we have will have an “a” at the end for females and an “o” for males.
Another fun fact that might not be appreciated in the 21st century is that we do not really use the words in Spanish for beautiful to address a man or talk about a man.
We can use the words for a baby boy and even for a kid, but, once the kid reaches maybe like 5 years old, in general, we don’t use these words for adolescent or adult males.
I know, it’s weird, but we grew up like this. Again, maybe the younger generations are changing this Spanish speaker’s “tradition”.
The male words for “beautiful” are mainly used to describe objects, places, and scenery.
The words are: Bonito (a), Preciosa (o), Hermoso (a), Linda (o), Divina (o)
An example of a phrase would be: “Te ves preciosa esta noche” and it translates to “you look beautiful tonight”.
How to Say “You’re My Other Half” in Spanish
It’s funny how this article makes me remember a lot of our pop Spanish and Mexican songs from the 90’s. They are so cheesy! Lol
The way we say, “You are my other half” is “Eres mi otra mitad” but, we do have slang for it, and it is “Eres mi media naranja” (You are my half orange).
How to Say “My Heart” in Spanish
The literal translation of “My heart” is “Mi corazón” and we don’t really use this phrase to address a person. I would mainly use the phrase within another like this:
Me to a boyfriend: “Tienes mi corazón y te amo” (you have my heart and I love you)
How to Say “My Darling” in Spanish
In Spanish, we can use words or phrases like: “Mi cielo” (my sky), “Mi rey or Mi reina” (My king or my queen), “Mi vida” (my life).
Words like cielo or vida can be used on their own to replace the name of the partner, for example:
“Cielo, ¿Puedes pasar a comprar leche?” (Darling, can you stop to by milk at the store?)
The interesting thing in Spanish is that the 3 phrases above are not only used in a loving way, actually, but lots of people also hate them because they can be a very condescending weapon, mainly between women (unfortunately).
For example, and this is a personal one, when I am frustrated with a call center, and I just can’t get the answer or the follow-up that I need I will be condescending and to try to make my point across I would say to them: “A ver mi reina” or “A ver mi vida” (A ver means: “Let’s see”). These phrases can definitely be loaded with impatience.
How to Say “Cute” in Spanish
There are many ways to express that something or someone is cute.
As in many cases, in Spanish we need to add prepositions to make a phrase or a word make sense, and in this case, we use “Qué”, like this:
“¡Qué lindo (a)! ¡Qué tierna (o)! ¡Qué bonito (a)!
Context: A newborn baby smiles, so we melt and say: ¡Aaaaay, que tiernaaaaa!
¿The inflection? Yes, necessary. Hehe
How to Say “I Can’t Live Without You” in Spanish
Well, for one, I do hope that not many people in the 21st century says things like this, I mean, even Sting has come out and said that the song “Every breath you take” is about a stalker and not really about love, so, in Spanish as in English, this phrase is a bit too much. 😂
Joking aside, the literal translation is: “No puedo vivir sin ti”.
How to Say “Amazing” in Spanish
As we have learned, Spanish is very emotional and there is never only one way to express feelings, positive or negative.
In the case of AMAZING, we can use any of these words: “Increíble” (Incredible), “Fantástico” (Fantastic), “Grandioso” (Wonderful, grandiose), “asombroso”(Astonishing), and, the most coloquial one: “¡Que padre!” (For this one the literal translation is “What father! or What parent!”), so, as it doesn’t make sense, that is how you know it’s slang.
The translation that makes more sense would be “How cool!”
As always, context is important.
As a Mexican, everytime I feel that something is amazing, I mainly use “increíble” in this type of context:
- A friend: “¡Me voy a Europa de viaje!” (I am going to Europe on a trip!)
- Me: ¡Wow! ¡Que padre! Or ¡Súper! ¡Qué increíble!
How to say I love you in Spanis: final thoughts
By now you are already convinced that the Spanish language has a lot to give and that there are different ways to express feelings, not only of love, but of like, want, desire, friendship, and even those that are not that positive or nice.
I hope you have also learned a lot and that with your new language skills and your stock of romantic phrases you gather the courage to go and get to find yourself a Spanish-speaking romantic partner or a new Spanish-speaking friend! If that is what you want of course.
Lastly! Don’t forget to analyze the context you are in, think of who is listening to you, and practice your pronunciation!
About the Author: Bianca Muñoz
Bianca is a Mexican, a traveler, an ally, a dreamer, a creative, 100% human and so much more. Bianca has +20 years of experience in personal travel throughout 3 continents, and many countries, cities, towns, and communities. She also comes with +20 years of experience with customer service in the hospitality and tourism industries. A passionate advocate of her country (despite it all), an amateur writer & blogger, art lover, certified yoga teacher, entrepreneur, neophyte researcher, philosophy fan, and knowledge obsessed, she has one dream and mission in life:
“To achieve, through her venture, for travel to be considered and used as a tool for a better education and human development in Mexico”
And, even if in baby steps, she is making the dream, come true through her brand: