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How to say “I love you” and other words of affection in Spanish

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages globally, with approximately 550 million speakers. It's the official language in 21 countries, making it essential for personal and professional relationships. 

Whether you're planning a trip to Spain or Latin America, communicating your affection in Spanish can help you connect with the people around you. In this article, we'll show you how to say "I love you" in Spanish, along with some other popular terms of endearment used in Spanish-speaking cultures. So, get ready to impress your loved ones with your newfound language skills!

Why learn how to say “I love you” in Spanish

Expressing your feelings to someone you care about is essential to any relationship, but it can be especially meaningful when done in their native language. Learning to say "I love you" in Spanish shows your affection for someone and your respect for their culture and language. 

Spanish is a romantic and expressive language that emphasizes affectionate terms of endearment. So, naturally, there are many reasons to learn how to say "I love you" in Spanish, like looking to impress a Spanish-speaking significant other, expressing your appreciation for loved ones, or simply deepening your understanding of the Spanish language and culture. Here are a few specific situations where knowing how to express your love in Spanish can be especially valuable:

You have a Spanish-speaking significant other

If you're dating someone who speaks Spanish, expressing your love and affection in their native language can deepen your bond and demonstrate your commitment to understanding their culture. So, learning some romantic phrases and terms of endearment lets you communicate your feelings in a more authentic and meaningful way.

You want to show appreciation for your Spanish-speaking loved ones 

Not just your Spanish-speaking partner but also their family or your Spanish-speaking friend will find it touching and a thoughtful gesture if you learn to express your love in their native language. It shows that you care about them and their culture and helps to strengthen your bond.

You want to understand Spanish romantic movies and TV shows 

A significant part of immersing yourself in a foreign culture is enjoying its media content. If you're a fan of Spanish-language media, understanding and recognizing various romantic expressions helps you to fully appreciate the depth and emotion of Spanish romantic movies, TV shows, and music.

You want to interact with Spanish content on social media

In today's interconnected world, social media platforms offer endless opportunities to connect with Spanish-speakers and engage with Spanish content. Knowing how to express your love in Spanish can help you to connect, interact, and appreciate Spanish-speaking creators and their content on a deeper level.

No matter what your motivation is to spread some love in Spanish, learning the essential phrases helps to communicate your feelings and build stronger relationships with Spanish-speaking people. In the next section, we'll explore some common terms and phrases of endearment that you can use to express your love in Spanish.

How different situations change the romantic phrases you use

As with any language, Spanish has many phrases and expressions for communicating love and affection. However, the specific words you use can vary depending on the situation, relationship, and context. In this section, we'll delve into different scenarios and discover the appropriate romantic and affectionate expressions for each case.

Romantic phrases for your significant other 

When you're in a committed relationship with someone, expressing your love and affection becomes an integral part of your daily life. Here are some of the most heartfelt and romantic phrases you can use to show your significant other how much they mean to you:

I love you Te amo [te ˈamo] Tay ah-mo”
I love you, too Yo también te amo [ˈɟʝo tãmˈbjɛ̃n te ˈamo] “Yo tahm-bee-en tay ah-mo”
I love you a lot Te amo mucho [te ˈamo ˈmuʧo] Tay ah-mo moo-cho”
I love you to the moon and back Te amo hasta la luna y más allá [te ˈamo ˈasta la ˈluna i̯ ˈmas aˈʝa] “Tay ah-mo ahs-tah la loo-na”
I love you with all my heart Te amo con todo mi corazón [te ˈamo kõn ˈtoðo mi koɾaˈsõn] Tay ah-mo con toh-doh mee co-rah-son”
I’m crazy about you Estoy enloquecido por ti [ɛsˈtoj ɛ̃nlokeˈsiðo poɾ ˈti] Es-toy en-loh-kay-see-do por tee”
Love of my life Amor de mi vida [aˈmoɾ ðe mi ˈβiða] “Ah-more day me vee-da”
You are my other half Eres mi media naranja [ˈɛɾes̬ mi ˈmeðja naˈɾãnxa] “Eh-res me meh-dee-ah nah-ran-ha”
Life would be empty without you La vida estaría vacía sin ti [la ˈβiða ɛstaˈɾia βaˈsia sĩn ˈti] “La vee-dah es-ta-ree-ah va-see-ah seen tee”
You are my everything Eres mi todo [ˈɛɾes̬ mi ˈtoðo] “Eh-res me toh-doh”

Romantic phrases for dating 

If you're interested in someone and want to take things to the next level, specific romantic expressions can help you communicate your intentions and emotions more clearly. We've gathered some of the most appropriate and impactful phrases for expressing interest in someone you want to date:

I like you Me gustas [me ˈɣustas] “May goose-tas”
I like you too Tú también me gustas [ˈtu tãmˈbjɛ̃m me ˈɣustas] “Too tam-bee-en may goose-tas”
I like everything about you Me gusta todo sobre ti [me ˈɣusta ˈtoðo ˈsoβɾe ˈti] “May goose-ta toh-do sow-bray tee”
Will you go out with me? ¿Te gustaría salir conmigo? [te ɣustaˈɾia saˈliɾ kõmˈmiɣo ‖] “Tay goose-ta-ree-ah sah-leer con-mee-go”
I’m thinking about you Estoy pensando en ti [ɛsˈtoi̯ pɛ̃nˈsãndo ɛ̃n ˈti] “Es-toy pen-san-do en tee”
I can’t wait to see you Ya te quiero ver [ɟʝa te ˈkjɛɾo ˈβɛɾ] “Ya tay kee-eh-ro ver”
You look beautiful Qué hermosa te ves [ˈke ɛɾˈmosa te ˈβes] “Kay her-mo-sa tay ves”
You look handsome Qué guapo te ves [ˈke ˈɣwapo te ˈβes] “Kay goo-ah-po te ves”
I like you just the way you are Te quiero tal cual y como eres [te ˈkjɛɾo ˈtal ˈkwal i ˈkomo ˈɛɾes] “Tay kee-eh-ro tal koo-al e co-mo eh-res”

Phrases of affection for your friends and family members 

Love and affection aren't limited to romantic relationships. You can also use affectionate phrases to show your friends and family how much you care about them. In this subsection, we'll list some of the most common and endearing expressions you can use to share your love with those closest to your heart:

I love you mom / dad / grandma / grandpa Te amo, mamá / papá / abuela / abuelo [te ˈamo | maˈma / paˈpa / aˈβwela / aˈβwelo] “Tay ah-mo, ma-ma / pa-pa / ah-boo-eh-la / ah-boo-eh-lo”
I love you all Los amo a todos [los ˈamo a ˈtoðos] Los ah-mo ah toh-dos”
I love you guys Los amo [los ˈamo] “Los ah-mo”
I love you as a friend Te quiero como amigo [te ˈkjɛɾo ˈkomo aˈmiɣo] Tay kee-eh-ro co-mo ah-mee-go”
I miss you Te extraño [tɛ ɛksˈtɾaɲo] Tay ex-tra-nio”

Phrases of appreciation for acquaintances and colleagues 

While romantic phrases may not be appropriate for all situations, expressing appreciation, gratitude, and admiration towards acquaintances and colleagues can still be a meaningful way to strengthen relationships. Let's explore some of the most appropriate and professional ways to express appreciation toward those you work with or interact with on a regular basis:

You look great today Te ves muy bien el día de hoy [te ˈβes̬ mwi ˈβjɛn ɛl ˈdia ðe ˈoi̯] teh vess moo-ey bee-en”
You’re really talented Eres muy talentoso / talentosa [ˈɛɾes̬ mwi talɛ̃nˈtoso | talɛ̃nˈtosa] eh-ress moo-ey ta-len-toh-so”
You did a really great job today Hiciste un muy buen trabajo hoy [iˈsiste ũ̯m mwi ˈβwɛ̃n tɾaˈβaxo ˈoi̯] ee-sees-teh oon moo-ey boo-en tra-ba-ho oy”
You’re an inspiration Eres una inspiración [ˈɛɾes ˈuna ĩ̯nspiɾaˈsjõn] eh-ress oo-na in-spee-rah-see-on”
You rock Eres lo máximo [ˈɛɾes̬ lo ˈmaksimo] eh-ress lo max-e-mo”
You have a beautiful soul Tienes un alma muy bella [ˈtjenes un ˈalma mwi ˈβeʝa] tee-eh-ness oon al-ma moo-ey beh-ya”
You’ve got a great sense of humor Tienes un gran sentido del humor [ˈtjenes ũn ˈɡɾãn sɛ̃nˈtiðo ðɛl uˈmoɾ] tee-eh-ness oon grahn sen-tee-doh del oo-more”
Your smile is beautiful Tu sonrisa es hermosa [tu sõnˈrisa ˈɛs ɛɾˈmosa] too son-ree-sa es air-mo-sa”
You should be proud of yourself Deberías estar orgulloso / orgullosa de ti mismo / misma [deβɛˈɾias ɛsˈtaɾ oɾɣuˈʝoso | oɾɣuˈʝosa ðe ˈti ˈmis̬mo | ˈmis̬ma] deh-beh-ree-as ess-tar or-goo-yo-so deh tee mees-mo”

How Spanish terms of endearment are different in each Latin culture

When it comes to expressing love and affection, every Spanish-speaking culture has its own unique phrases and terms of endearment. In this section, we'll explore how some of the biggest Latin American countries express love in their own distinct way.


Mexico, a country rich in history, vibrant culture, and flavorful cuisine, is home to numerous indigenous groups, each with their own dialects and customs. This diversity has shaped how Mexicans express love and affection, with various romantic phrases and terms of endearment unique to their nation. Mexican Spanish is known for its use of diminutives, which show affection and endearment. For example, "amorcito" means "little love," while "corazoncito" means "little heart." Below is a table showcasing some of the most common expressions of love in Mexico:

Mi amor My love [mi aˈmoɾ] “mee ah-more”
Vida mía My life [ˈbiða ˈmia] “vee-da me-ah”
Mi cielo My sky (used as “sweetheart”) [mi ˈsjelo] “me see-eh-lo”
Novia / novio Girlfriend / boyfriend [noβja] / [noβjo] “noh-vyah” / “noh-vyoh”
Mi reina / mi rey My queen / my king [mi ˈrei̯na] / [mi ˈrei̯] “Mee ray-nah” / “Mee ray”
Mi cariño My darling [mi kaˈɾiɲo] “Mee Ca-ree-nio/ca-ree-nia”


Argentina, the land of Tango, fine wine, and breathtaking landscapes, is a country where passion and emotion are deeply ingrained. Argentine Spanish, heavily influenced by Italian immigration, is known for its use of colorful and expressive language. This is particularly true when it comes to expressions of love and affection.

Mi cielo My sky (used as “sweetheart”) [mi ˈsjelo] “me see-eh-lo”
bombón Chocolate / Marshmallow (used as “sweetie”) [bõmˈbõn] “bom-bon”
Mi sol My sun [mi ˈsol] “Mee sol”
gordi Chubby (used affectionately) [ˈɡoɾði] “gohr-dee”
Mi Hermosa / mi hermoso My beautiful / my handsome [ɛɾˈmosa] / [ɛɾˈmoso] “Er-mo-sa” / “Er-mo-so”
Mi alma My soul (used affectionately) [mj ˈalma] “me all-mah”


Colombia is famous for its lively music, spectacular landscapes, and warm, friendly people. It also boasts a rich cultural heritage that has given rise to distinctive expressions of love and affection. Colombians often use endearing terms that reflect their passion for life and strong emotional connections. Here are some of the most common romantic phrases and terms of endearment used in Colombia:

Mi cielo My sky (used as “sweetheart”) [mi ˈsjelo] “me see-eh-lo”
bombón Chocolate / Marshmallow (used as “sweetie”) [bõmˈbõn] “bom-bon”
Mi sol My sun [mi ˈsol] “Mee sol”
gordi Chubby (used affectionately) [ˈɡoɾði] “gohr-dee”
Mi Hermosa / mi hermoso My beautiful / my handsome [ɛɾˈmosa] / [ɛɾˈmoso] “Er-mo-sa” / “Er-mo-so”
Mi alma My soul (used affectionately) [mj ˈalma] “me all-mah”


Peru has a rich history and stunning natural beauty and is home to a warm and diverse population. Peruvians are known for their kindness and hospitality, which is reflected in how they express love and affection. Let's take a look at Peru's most common romantic phrases and terms of endearment:

Mi cariño My darling [mi kaˈɾiɲo] “Mee Ca-ree-nio/ca-ree-nia”
Mi Chula / mi chulo My cute one [mi ˈʧula] / [mi ˈʧula] “Mee Choo-la” / “Mee choo-lo”
Mi dulzura My sweetness [mi dulˈsuɾa] “Mee dull-sue-rah”
Mi encanto My charm [mi enˈkanto] “Mee uhn-kaan-tow”
Mi osito My little bear [mi oˈsito] “Mee oh-see-toe”
Mi sol My sun [mi ˈsol] “Mee sol”


Chile, a slender country stretching along the Pacific coast, is renowned for its literary heritage, diverse landscapes, and unique accent. Chileans often employ their creativity in the way they express love and affection, using a variety of romantic phrases and terms of endearment. Explore some of their most common expressions of love:

Mi amorcito My little love [mi amoɾˈsito] “Mee ah-more-see-toe”
Mi polola / mi pololo My girlfriend / my boyfriend [mi poˈlola] [mi poˈlolo] “Mee po-lo-la” / Mee po-lo-lo”
Mi guagua My baby (used affectionately) [mi ˈɡwaɡwa] “Mee gwah-gwah”
Mi pastelito My little cake [mi pasteˈlito] “Mee pass-tay-lee-toh”
Mi angelito My little angel [mi ˈãnxɛl ˈito] “Mee an-hell-ee-toh”

Navigating romance and culture: Dating a Spanish-speaker

Today, crossing paths with people from different cultural backgrounds and linguistic origins is increasingly common. Dating a Spanish-speaker offers a fantastic opportunity not only to explore and appreciate their rich culture but also to expand your language skills. In this final section, we'll delve into some important aspects of dating a Spanish-speaker, including cultural nuances, language, and the impact of modern communication methods like texting and dating apps.

Understanding cultural differences

When dating someone from a different culture, it's essential to be open-minded and respectful of their customs and traditions. Latin American and Spanish cultures can be pretty diverse, so take the time to learn about your partner's background and upbringing. Be aware that certain gestures, topics, or expressions that might be acceptable in your culture could be considered impolite or offensive in theirs. Always approach cultural differences with curiosity and empathy, as it will enrich your relationship and foster a deeper understanding of one another.

Embracing the language

Learning your partner's native language can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both for your relationship and your personal growth. By making an effort to learn Spanish, you'll not only be able to communicate more effectively with your partner and their family, but you'll also gain insight into the way they think and express themselves. Moreover, knowing Spanish will give you access to a vast array of literature, music, and films from Spanish-speaking countries, further enriching your cultural experience.

Modern communication: Texting and dating apps

As texting and dating apps become increasingly prevalent in today's romantic interactions, it's essential to adapt your language skills to these platforms. When texting in Spanish, be aware that native speakers often use abbreviations, slang, and informal language. For example, "tqm" stands for "te quiero mucho" (“I love you a lot”), and "xq" is short for "por qué" (“why”). Familiarize yourself with common texting abbreviations and expressions to ensure smooth communication.

When using dating apps, be mindful of cultural differences and language barriers. Ensure your profile reflects your genuine interests and values while also showcasing your language skills. Don't be afraid to ask questions about local customs, slang, or colloquial phrases that might help you navigate the dating scene in another country.

Celebrating love and cultural exchange

Ultimately, dating a Spanish-speaker is a unique and enriching experience that allows you to explore new cultures, languages, and perspectives on life. Embrace this journey with an open heart and a willingness to learn, and you'll undoubtedly grow as an individual and as a couple. Remember, love transcends boundaries, and by fostering mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation, your relationship will flourish in the beautiful tapestry of your combined cultures. ¡Disfruta del amor en todos los idiomas! (Enjoy love in every language!)

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