Are you madly in love with someone?
Are you also learning English?
Then make them swoon this Valentine’s Day with this vocabulary list of romantic English words.
With these detailed explanations and examples, you’ll make them fall madly in love with you too.
(But don’t forget the flowers!)
20 Great Valentine’s Day Vocabulary Words for English Learners
1. To flirt (verb)
If you flirt with someone, you are being playful with them because you’re attracted to them and you want to show that you like them. You can flirt in a few different ways by speaking e.g. “You look really cute today!” or by text or written communication (eg. “Loved how you were smiling in class today xox.”).
Tip: When we write “love” in text or instant messages, some people might write “luv.” This is not correct and does not exist in the dictionary, but you might see it on Facebook, Twitter or text messages. (e.g. “luv u”).
Extra Tip: When we sign a message with “xox” it means hugs and kisses, or we can just end a message with kisses ‘xxx.’
“Look at Rebecca flirting with Craig. It’s so obvious she likes him.”
“Isn’t it? But look at him, he’s flirting back too!”
Extra Tip #2: A flirt is what we call a person who flirts a lot. Some people are natural flirts and just want to be playful; however, you have to be careful not to give someone the wrong impression as they may really think you’re interested in them.
“Did you see Jack at the party last night?”
“Yeah, he was chatting and laughing with all the girls. They all think he likes them.”
“Yeah, he’s such a flirt!”
2. To have a crush on someone (phrase)
If you have a crush on someone, it means you like them A LOT and you would love the opportunity to be more than friends with them.
“Do you know where Mike is?”
“No, why do you ask?”
“Oh no reason!”
“Ha! You can’t fool me, you have such a huge crush on him!”
“Is it that obvious?”
Tip: Additionally you can say you’re crushing on someone and it means exactly the same thing but is more common among teenagers.
“I’m crushing on Sam so bad right now!”
“Really? Why don’t you ask him out on a date?”
“No way, I can’t do that! What if he says ‘no’?”
3. Will you like to go out with me? (phrase) -or- Would you like to go out with me?
(more formal) Do you really like someone and want to spend more time with them? Perhaps you want to ask them to go to a movie or go for dinner but you’re not sure how to ask them in English. Never fear, the phrase is really simple and it’s the actual asking that’s more difficult.
“Er, I was wondering if you’d like to go out with me Saturday night. There’s a great band playing at the diner…”
“Sure, why not? I’d love to go!”
“Great, shall I pick you up around 8?”
“That sounds good to me!”
4. Serenade (verb/noun)
In the old days romantic men would try and win over their love by playing or singing a romantic piece of music. It’s not uncommon to have a group of singers and people playing instruments walking around a restaurant on a special day like Valentine’s Day serenading you. In parts of Europe musicians will walk down the stony streets singing to couples in love which creates the perfect romantic backdrop.
“Where did you go for your Valentine’s Day meal?”
“We went to the new Mexican in town.”
“How was it?”
“It was great, until we got serenaded a couple of men playing guitars in Sombraros. Everyone was looking at us and I went bright red. I was so embarrassed!”
5. Table for two (phrase)
Are you planning a special romantic dinner with your loved one? Well when you do, make sure you ask the waiter for a table for two. When you go out for dinner at a restaurant, the staff will usually ask how many people there are in your party and this is exactly what you’d answer.
Make your date with your girlfriend go smoothly right from the start by using the correct vocabulary for everything – you’ll surely impress her with your great English!
“Good evening and welcome to Fancesco’s.”
“Good evening, we’d like a table for two, please.”
“Certainly, please follow me!”
6. To admire (verb)
To admire someone means that you look up to them, respect them and in some cases love them. Depending on the situation, you can admire a number of different people. You could admire your boyfriend or girlfriend (which is a stronger feeling) or you could admire your parents (respect them) because they’ve done a great job raising you. Some people even admire (look up to) famous people and want to be just like them.
“Babe, I admire the way you dance! I just love to watch you move.”
“Oh Paul, you’re so sweet.”
“I admire my mom for everything she’s done. She’s a strong woman and has worked hard for our family.”
“I just love Lady Gaga, she’s the best singer!”
“Really? Why do you admire her so much? There are better singers and role models to look up to.”
7. Admirer (noun)
Admirer comes from the verb ‘admire’ and it refers to the person who’s doing the action. If you admire someone, you’re an admirer. On Valentine’s Day, it’s not uncommon to receive a Valentine’s Day card without a name and instead it says from your secret admirer. A secret admirer is a person who may be too embarrassed or shy to tell you that they like you and would prefer to remain anonymous.
“Hey Jane, who’s your card from?”
“I have no idea. I just found it in my locker this morning!”
“Oooh, exciting, you’ve got a secret admirer.”
8. Be Mine (phrase)
This is a common line in a Valentine’s Day card. The person who’s sending it to you (your admirer) wants you to know that they like you and would like to possibly have a relationship with you. It’s a cute way of saying “I’m into you!” This is a phrase that’s only really used on Valentine’s Day; however, if you are a bit of a Casanova, you can write it any love letter.
“I have no idea what to write on the Valentine’s Day card I bought Olivia.”
“Do you like her?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Well, then just write ‘Be Mine’ like on every other Valentine’s Day card.”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course, she’ll find it sweet!”
Tip: Another romantic phrase or greeting in Valentine’s Day cards is “Will you be my Valentine?” which means exactly the same as “Be mine.”
9. Bouquet (noun)
(Pronounced boo-kay) Girls just love to receive a bouquet of flowers and giving them one is one of the most romantic gestures a guy can do. A bouquet of flowers is a collection of flowers tied together and wrapped in beautiful paper with a ribbon around them. Some guys give bouquets while others prefer to give a single red rose – whatever you do, it will surely make your girlfriend happy.
“What a beautiful bouquet of flowers Ange.”
“I know. Pete gave them to me.”
“Oh, he’s the best boyfriend in the world, you’re so lucky!”
10. Candlelit dinner (noun phrase)
This is perhaps one of the most romantic moments you can spend with your partner. Imagine sitting in the corner of a romantic restaurant with soft music playing and light down low with candles on the table – this is a candlelit dinner and the perfect scenario for a man to ask his girlfriend to marry him. Aww…
“What do you and Simon have planned for Valentine’s Day this year?”
“Oh you know Simon – he’s so romantic and has planned a romantic candlelit dinner in a restaurant.”
“I have no idea. He told me it’s a surprise!”
11. Candy (noun)
Who doesn’t love candy? Sweet and chocolate shops make a lot of money on this special day. Candy refers to any kind of sweet or chocolate. If your partner has a sweet tooth (loves sweet things), then give them a gift of candy on Valentine’s Day!
“Did Dan buy you anything for Valentine’s Day?”
“Yes, he really spoiled me. He bought me a big box of candy and we’re going out for a romantic candlelit dinner this evening!”
12. Darling (noun)
If you say darling to someone, it means that you like them. It’s another way of saying my “love” or “babe” or “sweetheart.”
“Hi darling. What are you doing tonight?”
“Nothing yet, why what have you got planned?”
“Oh, well that’s a surprise, you’ll find out later. Just be ready at 6 p.m. this evening and I’ll pick you up from home.”
Tip: Female friends can also call each other “darling.” It doesn’t mean that they’re romantically involved, but it’s just another way to refer to someone as a good friend instead of using their name.
Michelle: Don’t worry about cooking anything I’m bringing food and wine with me.
Kiera: Aw, you’re such a darling. What would I do without you?
Michelle: Well this is what best friends do when their friend is sick.
13. To get engaged (phrase)
If you get engaged, it means that your partner asked you to marry them and you said yes. You now wear an engagement ring on your finger, and you are planning your wedding.
“How long have you guys been dating now?”
“Two years. But actually we got engaged a few nights ago.”
“Really? That’s great, congratulations. Do you have any idea when you’ll get married?”
“No, not yet.”
Tip: Engaged (adjective) A person who is engaged will soon get married and has made the commitment to walk down the aisle with their partner.
“Hi there! What’s your name?”
“Hi Lisa, I’m Paul!”
“So, you’re very beautiful! What are you doing here alone?”
“I’m not here alone! I’m actually engaged and that’s by fiancé standing over there!”
14. Engagement ring (noun)
When someone asks another person to marry him or her, they often give a gift of an engagement ring (usually with a diamond). This ring symbolizes their commitment to each other. The person who receives a ring will wear it on their finger (the same finger where the wedding ring will go) to show everyone they’re engaged.
“Hey Jean! Congratulations on your engagement!”
“Thanks so much.”
“I bet you’re so excited right now! Let’s see the (engagement) ring.”
“Here it is” (showing her finger)
15. To fall in love (phrase)
Did you know the average person falls in love seven times in their life before they finally get married? To fall in love means that your feelings develop and you go from liking a person to having a much stronger, passionate feeling for them.
“Mom, when did you and dad fall in love?”
“For me, it was love at first sight! As soon as I met your dad, I knew I wanted to marry him.”
Tip: Love at first sight means that you feel love for a person as soon as you meet them. Some people don’t believe in love at first sight but the real romantics do.
16. Fiancé (noun)
A fiancé (pronounced fee-on-say) is the man someone is engaged to. If you add an extra “e” to the end of “fiancé” (fiancée) it refers to an engaged woman. These words come from French–the language of love!
“Why do you look so nervous?”
“Mom and dad are meeting my fiancé for the first time tomorrow.”
“Don’t worry it’ll be fine!”
“I hope so, this is the man I’m going to marry.”
17. Heart-throb (noun)
What do Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom and Ryan Gosling all have in common? They’re all heart-throbs! We call a sexy man (usually who is famous) a heart-throb. Every girl growing up had posters of their favorite heart-throbs on their walls.
“Did you see Ryan Gosling in American Gangster?”
“Yeah I did! He’s pretty cute!”
“Just cute? He’s a heart-throb.”
18. To be lovesick (adjective)
Have you ever had that feeling when you’re around someone you really like or have a crush on and you feel a little dizzy? You get flustered and have butterflies in your stomach? Don’t worry it’s not a sickness—it just means that you’re really attracted to someone and you’re having a difficult time controlling your feelings.
If you’re lovesick, you’ll think about this person all the time. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for lovesickness, apart from telling him or her that you like them. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to date them!
“I just can’t get Jason out of my head. Everywhere I turn he’s there. What’s wrong with me?”
“Nothing, you’re just a bit lovesick that’s all. You should tell him how you feel – you just never know!
19. To pop the question (phrase) / to propose (verb) / to get down on one knee (phrase)
Believe it all not, all of these verbs/phrases mean the same thing. When a person asks someone else to marry them, he or she is popping the question, proposing and getting down on one knee. However, the last phrase refers to when someone physically gets down on one knee and asks their partner to get married—but many people do this anyway!
“Congratulations on your engagement to Robert!”
“So tell us, how did he pop the question?”
“Well, it was really romantic and he took me to the top of a hill as the sun was setting…”
“Did you hear that Sean proposed to Ellen last night?”
“Really? On Valentine’s Day? That’s so romantic!”
“I know, they’re planning to get married in a few months.”
“Wow, that’s quick!”
“How did Allan propose, Jen? Did he get down on one knee?”
“Not in the beginning, but I told him he had to ask me properly if he wanted to marry me!”
“Ha ha, you’re so mean!”
“No, I’m not mean. I’m just an old-fashioned romantic that’s all!”
Don’t be afraid to show someone how much you care about them and don’t let your English hold you back. Romance is in the air and we wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day.
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