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Nº 1. Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ways to say love in Spanish

In English, the word love conveys several different meanings:

  • John loves his wife (romance)
  • Everybody loves apple pie (strong liking)
  • She loves her pets (affection)

In Spanish, those different meanings are expressed using several different words. Here you have some of them.

Note: The words in brackets can be safely ommitted most of the times.

To Love Somebody (Romantically)

Use the verb amar. In some regions or social groups, the verb amar can sound too affected or cursi, so that the verb querer (literally, to want) can be used instead.

  • I love you. [Yo] te amo.
  • I love you. [Yo] te quiero.
  • Mary loves John. María ama a Juan.
  • Mary loves John. María quiere a Juan.
  • Elizabeth loves me. Isabel me ama.

Note: The use of the verb querer could be a little ambiguous in some contexts.

To Love Somebody (Affectionately)

Use the verb querer or the phrase querer mucho for a friendly love, and adorar for a more profound, affectionate love, as within relatives.

  • I love you all. Los quiero a todos.
  • The grandpa loved his little granddaughter. El abuelo adoraba a su nietecita.
  • I love my neighbors. Quiero mucho a mis vecinos.

The verb amar can also be used in a spiritual way:

  • I love humanity. Amo a la humanidad.
  • God loves you. Dios te ama.

To Love Something (Strong Liking)

When the word love is used in order to express a strong liking, use the verb encantar or the phrase gustar mucho to express it in Spanish.

  • I love apple pie. Me encanta/gusta mucho el pastel de manzana.
  • She loves to dance. [A ella] le encanta/gusta mucho bailar.
  • I would love to see you again. Me encantaría/gustaría mucho volver a verte; me encantaría/gustaría mucho verte otra vez.

To Be in Love with

Use estar enamorado/enamorada de.

  • Theresa is in love with Peter. Teresa está enamorada de Pedro.
  • Michael is in love with Johanna. Miguel está enamorado de Juana.

To Fall in Love [with]

Use the verb enamorarse [de].

  • Albert fell in love with Rose at first sight. Alberto se enamoró de Rosa a primera vista.
  • Margaret falls in love very easily. Margarita se enamora muy fácilmente.

Love Affair

Use the words amorío, aventura or aventura amorosa.

  • Susan has an affair with Charles. Susana tiene un amorío/una aventura con Carlos.
  • I don't think my husband has an affair. No creo que mi marido tenga un amorío/una aventura.

To Make Love

Use the phrase hacer el amor.

  • Let's make love. Hagamos el amor.
  • I want to make love with her. Quiero hacer el amor con ella.
  • Turn off the TV when we make love. Apaga la tele cuando hagamos el amor.


Use the word adorable.

  • What a lovely puppy! ¡Qué perrito más adorable!