29 Ways To Say I Love You In Spanish: Te Quiero Or Te Amo? (2024)


How we express love differs from one culture to another, and from one language to another. Here’s a Spring Spanish video (a language learning platform I co-founded) where teacher Cory explains the difference between te quiero and te amo:

That’s why, while English makes extensive use of the verb “love” to refer to all types of love: love to our couples, to our friends and family, our hobbies, or our pets,Spanish offers a huge array of words and expressions depending on who or what we love, and in what degree.

What can I say: the Latin world oozes passion 😉

Today we will explore the many options we have to sayI love you in Spanish, we’ll learn what to say to our significant other since the moment we meet them until we’re totally lost in love.

1. Romantic Love in Spanish

We don’t usually feel the same for a person when we first meet them that after a couple of dates, months, or years; and the richness of the Spanish language reflects that in its vocabulary. Take a look at this chart:

From ‘Me caes bien’ to ‘Te adoro’: Expressing love in Spanish

1st date2nd date1 month2 months6 months1 year
Me caes bien.
I like you.
Me gustas.
I like you.
Me encantas.
I like you a lot.
Te quiero.
I love you.
Te amo.
I love you.
Te adoro.
I adore you.

When we meet someone and we really enjoy hanging around with them, we can express this by saying “Me caes bien” or “Me agradas”. This means that you enjoy their company without showing any extra commitment.

A step forward from here is “Me gustas”. You’d say this if you’re attracted to the other person physically and maybe emotionally too.

Yet, if after a while you feel more connected to this person, you can say “Me encantas”, meaning“I more than like you, I really really like you”.

29 Ways To Say I Love You In Spanish: Te Quiero Or Te Amo? (1)

When you start having a feeling for them, you can move to “Te quiero”, but be careful because this phrase takes the relationship to another level. You don’t say “te quiero” just because.

Once you know that they are the one, and that you want to be with this person forever, you will finally say “te amo”.

Te adoro” is a great phrase to emphasize the love you feel; it’s like“I more than love you, I really really love you.

2. The Degrees of Love in Spanish

Depending on how intense our love is, we can use intensifiers to emphasize love in Spanish:

The degrees of ‘I love you’ in Spanish

Spanish (te quiero)Spanish (te amo)English
Te quieroTe amoI love you
Te quiero mucho.Te amo mucho.I love you very much.
¡Te quiero tanto!¡Te amo tanto!I love you so much!
Te quiero con todo mi corazón.Te amo con todo mi corazón.I love you with all my heart.
Te quiero con el alma.Te amo con el alma.I love you with all my heart.
Te quiero a morir.Te amo a morir.I love you to death.
Te quiero hasta el cielo ida y vuelta.I love you to the moon and back.
Te quiero hasta la luna.I love you to the moon.
Te quiero más que a mi vida.Te amo más que a mi vida.I love you more than my own life.

3. What’s the Difference BetweenTe QuieroandTe Amo?

Both verbs can be used to sayI love you in Spanish, yet they are not always interchangeable. We can sayte quieroto our boyfriend or girlfriend, meaning that we love them, butte quierois not restricted to romance. We can also use this phrase to address our family, our friends and even our pets. So, if somebody tells youte quiero, don’t take it for granted that this person is in love with you!

Te amocarries a different connotation, the feeling is deep and intense. This phrase is definitely the one to say to your couple because it does carry a very romantic connotation. Yet, it can also express deep affection when used to address your immediate family and your best friends.

To remember how and when to use te quiero and te amo, sign up to our Conversation Based Spanish Chunking Starter Pack! By joining this program, you’ll get access to our Practice Worksheet Library, a 15-Page Spanish Chunking Lesson, and a 12-Week Study Plan.

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4. The Best Romantic Nicknames in Spanish

When we’re in love, we tend to call our significant one many different sweet names, like “my love”, “sweetie”, and so forth. Let’s learn a couple of romantic nicknames that you can turn to in case you fall in love with a Spanish speaker 😉

Romantic nicknames in Spanish

SpanishEnglish
Mi amorMy love
Mi vidaMy darling
CariñoDarling
Mi cieloSweetie
Querido/QueridaMy dear
Mi corazónMy heart
Mi alma gemelaMy soulmate
Mi media naranjaMy other half

And while you’re at it, here’s another Spring Spanish video where teacher Paulisima demonstrates various Spanish nicknames for your significant other:

5. The Best Romantic Phrases in Spanish

Head over heels in love? The following chunks will come in handy to say love in Spanish in a particularly romantic way. Usethem wisely…

Romantic phrases in Spanish

SpanishEnglish
Estoy loco/loca por ti.I’m crazy about you.
Me vuelves loco/locaYou drive me crazy.
Eres todo lo que siempre soñé.You’re all I’ve ever dreamed of
Eres todo para mí.You mean everything to me.
Quiero pasar el resto de mi vida contigo.I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

6. Express Your Love in Spanish: Learn the Essential Chunks to Start Speaking the Language!

“All you need is love” prayed The Beatles back in the 60s, and it is the one assertion that still stands today, and will most certainly remain so for at least a long, long time. Now, expressing our love is as important as feeling it. No matter where we come from, we all love to know that we are loved, right?

29 Ways To Say I Love You In Spanish: Te Quiero Or Te Amo? (2)

And with the chunks in this article, you can now start expressing your love in Spanish too!

Make sure to get your free Spanish Chunking Starter Pack, where I show you a 4-step method to learn Spanish without having to memorize word lists and grammar rules. It comes with tutorial videos for Conversation Based Chunking™, resource lists to get you started, and much more. Conversation Based Chunking™ is currently being used by hundreds of thousands of students across the world with great results. If you want to get fluent in Spanish, I recommend you check out the free starter pack and start implementing the methodology in your studies 🙂

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29 Ways To Say I Love You In Spanish: Te Quiero Or Te Amo? (2024)

FAQs

29 Ways To Say I Love You In Spanish: Te Quiero Or Te Amo? ›

The difference is that Te amo is considered more intimate, while Te quiero is considered more casual. Depending on how it's said, Te quiero can also mean “l want you”. Te quiero literally means “I want you” but its most common meaning is “I love you' and is considered an appropriate way to express platonic love.

Should I say te amo or te quiero? ›

The difference is that Te amo is considered more intimate, while Te quiero is considered more casual. Depending on how it's said, Te quiero can also mean “l want you”. Te quiero literally means “I want you” but its most common meaning is “I love you' and is considered an appropriate way to express platonic love.

How many ways can you say I love you in Spanish? ›

There are two common ways to say “I love you” in Spanish: te quiero and te amo. Both phrases literally mean “I love you”, but they have different nuances and contexts. Te quiero is more versatile and can be used with family, friends, pets, crushes or significant others.

Can I say te quiero to my boyfriend? ›

Te quiero means “I want you”; although the meaning is quite intimate in English, it is actually less romantic in Spanish. Te quiero can be used for friends, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a family member to that you are close. To learn more about family, check our article on family in Spanish.

Do you tell your kids te amo or te quiero? ›

Te Quiero – Te Quiero. Derived from the verb “querer”, which means “to want”, “te quiero” is most appropriate for expressing love to family, close friends, or significant others.

How serious is te quiero? ›

“Te quiero” means “I love you” BUT: It's seen as a lower intensity show of affection than saying “te amo” As such, it's usually used by couples with a lower degree of loving commitment or when you don't want to express high levels of love but just everyday affection.

Is Te amo or Te Quiero more romantic? ›

Te amo is a deeper, more intense declaration of love than te quiero, but it's not reserved only for romantic relationships. When referring to a person, both amar and querer are Spanish verbs that mean “to love.” Still, there are certain nuances to using amar and querer with different people and in different situations.

What are the 10 ways to say I love you? ›

Different Ways To Say 'I Love You' to a Romantic Partner
  • I adore you.
  • My heart bursts with love at the sight of you.
  • I'm nothing without you.
  • I'm head over heels for you!
  • I've fallen for you.
  • You complete me.
  • Baby, I'm yours.
  • I need you.
Feb 13, 2024

What does te quiero te amo te adoro mean? ›

Te amo means I love you but more like I am in love with you ,te quiero is I want you ,te adoro is I adore you,me encantas is I really like you, te deseo is I want you.

How to reply to te quiero? ›

the standard way to reciprocate this feeling would be “yo también te quiero” (lit I love / like you too). If you don't want to reciprocate that, just say “Gracias” (lit. thanks) or just smile and let the awkwardness wash over you both.

What does te quiero mama mean? ›

Te quiero, mama. I love you, Mummy.

Is it polite to say yo quiero? ›

But if you do not wish to use it then you can say “me gustaría” (I would like to), or deseo (I wish). “Yo quiero” is imperative, you are not asking, you are almost demanding. “Yo quiero” is neither polite nor rude.

Do you say te quiero or te amo to your parents? ›

It's kind of unusual to express feelings this way in Spain, but “"Te quiero” is more commonly used and acceptable between family members, friends and even couples. “"Te amo” is almost exclusively used by couples as it's closer to romantic love, but even in this case, “"Te quiero” is almost always preferable.

When should you say te quiero? ›

Te quiero -This means I love you but it's not neccesarily romantic love. You can say “te quiero” to your best friend, to your relatives and so forth, you can also say it to your partner because it's a step below “te amo”.

Who would you say te quiero to? ›

You can use te quiero in Spanish with close friends, with family members, and with a romantic partner with whom you are just starting things and developing feelings for. With the latter, te quiero can also be translated as I like you a lot in English.

References

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