How do you say I love you in French?
The easiest way to say I love you in French is “Je t’aime” (pronounced ʒə tɛm). You can also say “Je suis amoureux (amoureuse) de toi” (I am in love with you) as well as “Je vous aime” (formal version of I love you). This post covers the many French love and romance words, phrases and expressions.
Je t’aime pronunciation
To pronounce je t’aime, simply say “juh tehm”. The following list includes audio. This page on Forvo also provides some excellent audio samples of je t’aime.
- Je t’aime I love you
- Je t’adore I adore you
- Je t’aime beaucoup I love you a lot
- Je t’aimerai pour toujours I will love you forever
- Est-ce que tu m’aimes? Do you love me?
- Oui, je t’aime Yes, I love you.
Do the French actually say “Je t’aime”?
In North American culture we tend to throw around the words “I love you” all the time and use them very liberally.
However, in French culture people might tend to take these words a bit more seriously and not use them as often. In fact, if you were to tell a French person, “Je t’aime” and you didn’t know them well enough, they might see this as shocking and offensive!
That said, it is common for parents to tell their kids “je t’aime”, and visa-versa. In relationships, couples do use “je t’aime” with each other.
The French are heavy into also sorts of terms of endearment, which we’ll learn later in this article.
What is the grammar behind “Je t’aime”?
The t’ is a direct object pronoun and means “to you”.
There are some grammatical variations of je t’aime which are worth learning.
“Je vous aime” has two translations. The first translation is “I love you” when said to a stranger or somebody who is older.
The second translation of “Je vous aime” is I love you when said to a group of people. For example, a parent could said to his or her kids, “Je vous aime, les enfants!” or “I love you kids!”
This page covers object pronouns in detail. There are some more grammatical variations of “je t’aime”. For example, the phrase “Je l’aime” translates to “I like him”, “I like her” and “I like it.
“Je les aime” translates to I like them. In this phrase, the “les” could mean “them” as in two or more people or “them” as in objects or things.
How do you say “je t’aime” in different verb tenses?
The phrase “Je t’aime” is in the present tense: I love you. But what about other verb tenses?
- Je vais t’aimer I’m going to love you (near future tense)
- Je t’aimerai I will love you (future tense)
- Je t’ai aimé I loved you (past tense or passe composé)
- Je t’aimais I used to love you (imperfect tense)
How to ask somebody: “Do you love me?”
There are several ways to ask somebody if they love you. The first informal way using est-ce que (yes or no for an informal question) is “Est-ce que tu m’aimes”, which means “Do you love you”? In this sentence tu is the informal you and the m’ means “to me”.
The more formal way of asking “Do you love me?” using est-ce que is “Est-ce que vous m’aimez”? It would probably be awkward to ask somebody this question using the formal form.
“Je t’aime” vs “Je t’aime bien”
Je t’aime and “Je t’aime bien” have two totally different meanings.
While “Je t’aime” means both “I love you” and “I like you”, the phrase “Je t’aime bien” has a much more subtle meaning. The translation of “Je t’aime bien” is much closer to “I like you”.
In the phrase “Je t’aime bien”, the word “bien” literally translates to “well”. However, there really is no exact equivalent for the entire phrase.
“Je t’aime bien” would probably be used in a situation where one person might be rejecting the other person.
For example, following an expression of love, the person doing the rejecting might say, “Je t’aime bien comme ami, mais…”, which translates to “I like you as a friend, but…”.
“Je t’aime” vs. “Je t’adore”
While the verbs aimer and adorder both mean to like and to love, the verb adorer is generally used to express the liking of things and activities. For example “J’adore le fromage français” (I love French cheese) or “J’adore faire du ski” (I love skiing).
Hence, in the context of “I love you”, French people tend to use “Je t’aime” and not the phrase “Je t’adore”.
What are some variations of “Je t’aime” or other ways to express you love?
The phrase “Je t’aime” is not the only game in town if you want to tell somebody that you love them. The following is a list of variation with some added vocabulary words giving the phrase a bit more zest of oomph.
- Moi aussi, je t’aime I love you too
- Je t’aime aussi I love you too
- Je t’aime beaucoup I love you a lot
- Je t’aime comme un fou I love you like a madman
- Tu es l’amour de ma vie You are the love of my live
- Je t’aime chéri I love you, honey
- Je t’aime de tout mon coeur I love you with all my heart
- Je t’aime encore I still lov eyou
- Je t’aime fort I love you a lot
- Je t’aimerai pour l’éternité I’ll love you for eternity
- Je t’aime pour toujours et jamais I’ll love you forever and never (hard to translate)
- Je t’aime tellement I love you so much
French list of terms of endearment
The French love to use terms of endearment. The most common terms include mon chéri (my dear), ma chérie and mon petit chou (my little cabbage). Some of the terms on this list, such as mon canard (my duck) may appear as a bit ridiculous.
- Ma belle my beautiful
- Ma puce my flea
- Mon ange my angel
- Mon beau, me belle my beauty
- Ma biche, ma bichette my deer
- Ma cocotte my hen
- Mon chéri / ma chérie my dear
- Mon amoureux (M), mon amoureuse my love
- Mon canard my duck
- Mon chaton my kitten
- Mon cœur my heart
- Mon amour my love
- Mon bébé my baby
- Mon chou my cabbage
- Mon gros (M), ma grosse my fatty
- Mon minou my kitty
- Mon nounours my teddy bear
- Ma poupée, ma poupette my doll, dolly
- Mon poulet (M), ma poule my chicken
- Mon poussin my chick
- Ma princesse my princess
- Mon trésor my treasor
- Ma moitié my half
How do you say “to fall in love” in French.
The French expression for “to fall in love” is “tomber amoureux de quelqu’un”. The verb “tomber” means “to fall”. The adjective “amoureux” is masculien for “in love” and “amoureuse” is feminine for in love. “De quelqu’un” is literally “of somebody”.
Hence, “Je tombe amoureux (or amoureuse) de toi” translates to “I’m falling in love with you”.
How do you say “head over heels in love”.
The expression for “head over heels in love” is follement amoureux (masculine) or follement amoureuse (feminine). Hence, “Il est follement amoureux d’elle” means “He’s head over heals in love with her”. The sentence, “Elle est follement amoureux de lui” means “She’s head over heels in love with him”.
“Follement amoureux” could also translate to “madly in love”.
Expressing love with the words “calîn”, “embrasse” and “bisous”
The verb faire un calîn à quelqu’un means to hug somebody. A “calîn” can translate to both a hug and a cuddle. Hence, the phrase “Je te fais un calîn” is a way of expressing love for somebody else and translates to “I hug you”.
The verb embrasser means both to kiss and to embrace. Hence, “Je t’embrasse” is also a way of expressing love. This phrase translates to “I embrace or kiss you”.
In French, the word “bisous” translates to kiss. The phrase, “Je te fais un bisou” means “I give you a kiss” and is also a way of expressing love.
What does the term “amant” mean?
In the context of love you will often see the term “amant”. The word “amant” only exists in the masculine form: “un amant” and translates to the English word “love”. For example, “Elle a un amant” means “She has a lover”.
French love expressions: Other ways to say “I love you”
The French language is full of love expressions. Here’s a short list.
- Je suis très épris de toi. I’m enamored by you.
- Je suis très attaché a toi. I’ve very attached to you.
- Je voudrais te chérir. I’d liket to cherish you.
- J’ai le béguin pour toi. I have a crush on you.
- Tu es ma raison de vivre. You are my reason for living.
- Je te kiffe (slang). I like you.
- Tu es ma vie. You are my life.
- Je suis amouraché de toi. I’m falling for you.
- Je t’aime gros comme le ciel. I love you as big as the sky.
- Je me suis toqué de toi. I fell for you.
- Je pense à toi. I’m thinking of you.
- Je ne peux pas vivire sans toi. I can’t live without you.
- Je ne peux pas me passer de toi. I can’t do without you.
- Tu m’as tapé dans l’oeil. You caught my eye.
- Tu es l’amour de ma vie. You are the love of my life.
- Je t’ai dans la peau. I have you in my soul.
- Je ne supporte pas etre loin/séparé(e) de toi. I can’t bare being far/separated from you.
- Je te porte dans mon coeur. I carry you in my heart.
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