Romantic French Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

Are you falling madly in love with someone?

Are you also learning French?

Then make them fall in love with you too this Valentine’s Day, with this vocabulary list of romantic French words.

With these detailed explanations and examples, you’ll be in each other’s arms in no time.


Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

Je t’aime! 

The first expression on our list is one that you have more than likely already seen, and simply means I love you. Succinct and clear, it’s really the only phrase you need to master for Valentine’s Day! (But we of course can’t just leave it at that!) Note that the verb aimer can be modified by tacking on the adverb bien, and changes the meaning to I like you. However, unless you want those sparks to fizzle out on the holiday of love, then stick to Je t’aime!  

Mon chéri/ma chérie

French isn’t known as the language of romance for nothing. There are a great number of nicknames, or petit noms, to address to your darling to spicen things up a bit.  The masculine mon chéri and feminine ma chérie both mean darling, but you can also try: mon coeur (my heart), mon chou (my cabbage, my pastry) for both men and women. If addressing a guy, how about: mon loup (my wolf), loulou (probably derived from loup), or doudou (sweety)? For women, try: ma puce (my flea- it’s cute in French!), or ma caille (my quail). When in doubt, you can name pretty much any cute fuzzy animal… you might just become a trendsetter!

Un câlin

The English equivalency of this term is a hug or cuddling, and can also be used as a plural noun, meaning hugs or cuddles. The main idea is snuggling up to your loved one in a cozy and intimate setting. The most commonly used verb phrase with this term would is faire un câlin à (nom), meaning to cuddle with (name). 

Un cœur d’artichaut

This is a term that doesn’t have an exact translation into English, and whose literal translation is bound to make you giggle.  Literally meaning artichoke heart, it is used to describe a person who falls in love easily, and often. Use this term to describe those friends of yours who always seem head over heels! Elle n’y peut rien ; elle a un cœur d’artichaut. – She can’t help it; she just keeps on falling in love.

Follement amoureux de/ épris de (amoureuse de/ éprise de) 

This phrase would perfectly explain the mindset of one of your coeur d’artichaut friends, or maybe even you! The English translation is madly in love, and it’s actually quite a literal translation. Other synonyms would be completely enamored with or crazy in love. 

Tu me manques

You might be spending Valentine’s far away from your chéri or chérie. Rather than get down on yourself, why not let your darling know that you miss them? In French, this feeling of missing somebody gets expressed a bit differently than in English, since tu me manques literally means something like “you are missing to me.” When you tell your friends how much you miss your darling, you can also say il me manque or elle me manque (I miss him/I miss her).

En amoureux

If you do plan on spending Valentine’s with special someone, you’re going to want to plan a romantic dinner or weekend getaway for two. You can tack en amoureux onto pretty much any activity to signal that it’s going to be a romantic occasion: passer un week-end en amoureux à + place (to spend a romantic weekend in/at + place), or faire un dìner en amoureux (to have a romantic dinner) are the most common ways to use this expression.

Avoir le cœur qui bat la chamade

You can pull out this expression to impress your French-speaking friends. The “chamade” is a musical term referring to the call of a trumpet or drums announcing surrender to the enemy. This expression uses this idea to indicate that one’s heart is racing at the thought of doing something romantic or succumbing to someone’s flirtatious advances.  If you are ready to surrender your heart to some lovely soul, whip out this expression and sweep him/her off of his/her feet!

Se dire des mots doux

This literally means ‘sweet/soft words,’ but the best English equivalents would be ‘tender words’ or, in some cases, ‘sweet nothings,’ just depending on the context in English. The idea behind it, however, is just those intimate little exchanges lovers share.

Jouer les cupidons 

This is an excellent phrase for those of you who tend to be more enthralled in others’ love lives than your own. Literally meaning, ‘to play cupid,’ this phrase means to be a matchmaker. Someone who ‘plays cupid’ is constantly trying to set up his or her friends, a very appropriate phrase to use as Valentine’s Day draws ever close, and even simply throughout the year.

Rouler une pelle/Rouler un patin

Both of these expressions mean to kiss someone extremely passionately, or in simpler terms, to French kiss. However, the French don’t chalk this style of kissing up to their own culture! Simply examining the literal translations of these expressions brings this to light. The first means to ‘roll a shovel’ and the second, ‘to roll a skate.’

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

FluentU Ad


To add some more French romance to your life, check out these French love songs next!

And one more thing...

If you like learning French on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.

FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:


FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.


For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:


Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."


All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe