So you studied abroad to learn Spanish and you’ve met somebody special. You want to say “I love you” in Spanish, but you’re unsure of how to proceed.
Do you say Te Amo or Te Quiero? Not to worry. We’ve all been there.
Talking about romantic love in Spanish can be frustratingly difficult for language learners. These are conversations where it is extremely important to express your feelings just so.
Delicate matters require delicate vocabulary. So, how do you say I love you in Spanish? Let’s find out.
Ways to say “I love you” in Spanish
There are multiple ways to say I love you in Spanish. From deep romantic love to casual interest in a new fling, there are words to convey your feelings.
Below we have the basic phrases to say I love you in Spanish.
We’ve put them in order from least serious (first date) to most serious (long-term partner) so you can choose.
- Me caes bien (me KAH-ehs byen) – I like you, I get along with you
- Me gustas (me GOOSE-tahs) – I like you (I have a crush on you)
- Te quiero (te KYE-do) – I love you (literally I want you)
- Te quiero mucho (te KYE-do MOO-choh) – I love you a lot/very much
- Te extraño (te ex-TRAN-yo) – I miss you
- Te adoro (te ah-DOOR-oh) – I adore you
- Estoy enamorada de ti (ehs-TOY en-ah-moh-RAH-dah de tea) – I am in love with you (This is for women. Men would say the same but enamorado ending in –o)
- Te amo (te AH-mo) – I love you (from the verb amarse to love someone)
Do you say Te Amo or Te Quiero?
In most Spanish-speaking countries Te quiero is the milder, more common way to say I love you in Spanish. Use this one with family members, pets, friends, significant others, and even tacos.
Te amo is reserved for your romantic partner, your so-called “media naranja”.
Romantic sayings in Spanish
Just as in English, we can say I love you in Spanish without using those exact words.
Have you ever tried to use a beautiful, romantic saying?
We did an entire post on beautiful Spanish sayings this year, especially for Día de San Valentín or St. Valentine’s Day.
Here are our favorites:
- mi media naranja – my soulmate (literally the other half of my orange)
- la pluma es lengua del alma – the pen is the tongue of the soul (written words speak truth)
- el mundo es un panuel – the world is a handkerchief
This last phrase has the same meaning as the English phrase “it’s a small world after all”. You can use it to express surprise at seeing a friend in an unfamiliar place.
It can also be romantic to tell your long-distance partner something along the lines of “distance isn’t everything” or “we will be together again soon”.
How to write a Spanish love letter
Why not express your love through a letter? If you’re looking to pen out your romance, then write a letter (or even in a text message!) with these endearing words.
- Besos/besitos/beshitos – Kisses/little kisses/same but pronounced in a cutesy way
- Con todo mi cariño/afecto/amor – With all my caring/affection/love
- Un beso – a kiss
- Amada/amado – beloved
On besos: Remember that in Latin America and Spain, it is a widespread cultural rule to kiss on the cheek for greetings and goodbye. Besos can be a way to sign off with a platonic or romantic friend. It’s a bit ambiguous. Un beso or just one kiss sounds more romantic.
Express your love in Spanish
Now you know multiple ways to say “I love you” in Spanish. You also learned romantic sayings to use with your partner and some phrases for a Spanish love letter. Is it time to brush up on Spanish phrases for first dates?
Alison Maciejewski Cortez is Chilean-American, born and raised in California. She studied abroad in Spain, has lived in multiple countries, and now calls Mexico home. She believes that learning how to order a beer in a new language reveals a lot about local culture. Alison speaks English, Spanish, and Thai fluently and studies Czech and Turkish. Her tech copywriting business takes her around the world and she is excited to share language tips as part of the Lingoda team. Follow her culinary and cultural experiences on Twitter.