“I Love You” in French: Je T’aime and 6 More Phrases to Express Love
Like Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, French is a Romance language.
Although this classification has nothing to do with love, French is still considered by many to be the most romantic language in the world.
And in this post, you’ll learn how to say “I love you” and six other phrases to express your love in the language of love itself!
- Je T’aime — “I Love You” in French
- More Ways of Expressing Love in French
- And one more thing...
Je T’aime — “I Love You” in French
Within your first handful of French lessons, you would’ve come across the verb aimer and the phrase je t’aime.
Context will determine whether the verb is translated as “to like” or “to love.” If you’re speaking to a significant other, it means “to love”:
Je t’aime Marie. — I love you Marie.
As opposed to speaking about an object, where the translation “to like” is more fitting:
J’aime le gâteau au chocolat. — I like chocolate cake.
The phrase je t’aime is versatile; it has numerous variations, each slightly more intense than the last. Whichever one you choose will definitely convey your feelings to your special someone.
Je t’aime tellement. — I love you so much.
Je t’aime de tout mon cœur. — I love you with all my heart.
Je t’aime à la folie. — I’m madly in love with you.
Je t’aimerais toujours. — I will love you forever.
However, you have to be aware of how you modify the phrase je t’aime. Attaching this phrase to the wrong adverb can unintentionally send your crush to the friend zone. Or embolden your colleague to ask you on a date.
As a seasoned French learner, I still find it difficult to keep track of which adverbs will render this phrase romantic as opposed to platonic.
However, everyone generally agrees that the adverbs bien and beaucoup are indicative of friendship rather than romantic love.
J’aime bien Robert. — I like Robert.
Je t’aime beaucoup. — I like you a lot.
More Ways of Expressing Love in French
You will never go wrong with a direct je t’aime to get your message across. But you shouldn’t feel limited to that phrase to express your feelings. Especially if you’re aiming for romance.
These six phrases are the ideal sweet nothings to sweep your partner off their feet.
Je t’adore — I adore you
Harkening back to your first few French lessons when you learned the word aimer, you likely also learned the word adorer, which translates to “to adore”.
In English, we understand adoration to be synonymous with admiration or respect, rather than love.
After some research into the semantics, I understand that aimer connotes a stronger emotion if you’re referring to a person. Whereas adorer connotes a stronger emotion when referring to anything else.
So, if you’re looking to express your fondness or appreciation for someone, without accidentally making a confession of love, adorer is the verb you want. Likewise, adorer is best suited to discuss how much you love a hobby, food or an object.
Guillaume adore Natalie. — Guillaume adores Natalie.
Guillaume adore la pizza. — Guillaume loves pizza.
Tomber amoureux (de quelqu’un) — To fall in love (with someone)
Unlike the confusion between aimer or adorer, this phrase is purely romantic and you won’t have to worry about nuance when using it. In this phrase, the word amoureux (or amoureuse for a feminine subject) is an adjective meaning “in love”.
However, you may see it used as a noun, wherein it means “lover”. You will likely also encounter an offshoot of this phrase, être amoureux (de quelqu’un) which means “to be in love with someone”.
La femme est tombée amoureuse d’un homme. — The woman fell in love with a man.
Je suis amoureux de toi. — I’m in love with you.
Le coup de foudre — Love at first sight
Figurative language can be one of the hardest parts of learning a new language. So, if you’re dipping your toes into French metaphors or idioms, let this be one of the first ones you learn.
Figuratively, it refers to love at first sight. However, the phrase le coup de foudre literally translates to “lightning strike”. Which presumably is how someone who has experienced love at first sight may describe the feeling.
Quand Claude a vu Nadia, c’était le coup de foudre. — When Claude saw Nadia, it was love at first sight.
Je suis fou de toi — I’m crazy about you
One thing the French and English can agree on is that telling someone you’re crazy about them is indicative of serious feelings. The French must agree wholeheartedly, given their numerous variations on the expression “crazy in love”.
Depending on the speaker, you would either use the masculine form fou or the feminine form folle, meaning “crazy”. A crafty way to circumvent gendered terms is to use the word dingue, which is slang for the same word.
“Noémie, je suis fou de toi”, dit Maxime. — “Noémie, I’m crazy about you,” said Maxime.
Isabelle est folle de Stéphane. — Isabelle is crazy about Stéphane.
Louis est dingue de toi. — Louis is crazy about you.
Tu es l’homme / la femme de mes rêves — You are the man/woman of my dreams
Proclaiming your sweetheart as the person of your dreams, whether directly or to the entire world, is the stuff of romance films.
Regardless of whether your confession of love also involves red roses, white doves or fireworks, it’ll show your significant other that you’re serious about them and the relationship.
And now you can proclaim your intentions in front of a non-anglophone population too.
Charlotte, tu es la femme de mes rêves. — Charlotte, you are the woman of my dreams.
Maël est l’homme de mes rêves. — Maël is the man of my dreams.
L’amour de ma vie — The love of my life
As I said at the start of this section, sometimes being direct is the best course of action. If je t’aime is the most direct way to share your feelings, this expression is a close second.
And the best part is that there’s no conjugation or gender distinction required. So you can focus less on whether you said it correctly, and focus more on saying it confidently and from the heart.
Antoine, tu es l’amour de ma vie. — Antoine, you are the love of my life.
If you want to learn more about how to talk about love and relationships in French, you could check out YouTube videos such as this one from FluentU about the romantic comedy Emily in Paris.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
French is the language of love, and whether your partner is French, knows French or is learning French, they’ll surely be impressed by your efforts at making your love bilingual.
You can further incorporate your romantic language skills into your daily life with one of these terms of endearment.
And one more thing...
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