How to Say I Love You in Spanish

In Spanish, there are many ways to say “I love you.”

In fact, there are several terms of endearment that can be used to express affection, but which you use depends on the situation and how close you are to someone.

Let’s look at the options for expressing love in Spanish!


How to Say “I Love You” in Spanish

Te quiero — I love you

This phrase literally means “I want you,” but is actually a cute way to say “I love you” or “I like you.”

It doesn’t come off as strong as phrases like te amo (also meaning “I love you,” which we’ll talk about below), making it the perfect one to use with a girlfriend or boyfriend, crush, friends and family and other relationships that aren’t super serious.

You can also add mucho or muchísimo at the end of the phrase to mean “I love you a lot.”

Mamá, me voy. ¡Te quiero! — Mom, I’m leaving. I love you!

Te amo — I love you

As mentioned earlier, te amo is stronger than te quiero. It means “I love you” literally and when used in real life. Typically you’d use this phrase with people you’re in a steady relationship with or with immediate family members. 

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It is, however, used slightly differently in different countries—in some places it’s used mostly to refer to romantic love, in others you’ll see fresh couples using it, and in others you’ll see that it’s also commonly used with family. 

I guess it’s similar to “I love you” in English: Its use is pretty subjective! 

Like te quiero, you can also add mucho or muchísimo at the end of te amo.

Te amo mucho, mi querida. — I love you so much, my darling.

The Difference Between Te Quiero and Te Amo

The most important thing to remember is that these terms are not always interchangeable—or suitable for everyone on your love list.

In Spanish-speaking cultures, the degree of familiarity or affection determines how you express love.

Let’s cover when to use each expression:

  • Te quiero is used among family members and friends. It’s the less “serious” expression that’s also safe to say when you’re just dating someone. It’s perfect for uncommitted relationships!
  • Te quiero is also used between lovers in a different way—in a private setting, if you catch my drift…
  • Te amo encompasses romantic love and is expressed between couples. Depending on the country, it’s the heavy-duty, no-holds-barred way to state your love for someone. 
  • Te amo can also be used with close family members, however again, this differs from country to country!

Making the differences between te quiero and te amo come naturally to you is a matter of immersing yourself in Spanish.

Luckily, you can do this online now thanks to technology.

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For example, FluentU lets you learn Spanish words, grammar and colloquialisms—like te quiero and te amo—through Spanish videos and interactive subtitles.

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You can watch clips from telenovelas where you’ll hear extra dramatic expressions of love (and hatred). And when you come across words you don’t know, just click on them to get definitions, examples and automatic addition to your flashcard deck.

Romantic Ways to Say “I Love You” in Spanish

Eres mi media naranja — You are my half orange

The literal translation on this one doesn’t seem especially romantic, but when someone says Eres mi media naranja, they’re actually saying “You’re my other half.”

In other words, this expression says that the other person completes you or that you make a whole together.

Te quiero tanto — I love you so much

This is a variation of te quiero that’s tender and loving.

A fabulously popular song by Carlos Vives and Shakira called La Bicicleta” (“The Bicycle”) makes good use of the expression with the lyrics:

Que te sueño y que te quiero tanto — How I dream of you and I love you so much

Te adoro — I adore you

This declaration of love is used not only by lovers but by parents toward their children as well.

I’ve seen many madres (mothers) pull their babies onto their laps and croon, Te adoro.

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Te necesito — I need you

Te necesito is also the title of a popular song by Mexican singer Luis Miguel. It’s hot and steamy—exactly how you’d expect this declaration to be portrayed.

There are lots of beautifully romantic Spanish songs, not just this one. Check some out for even more learning opportunities!

Me vuelves loco — You drive me crazy

Have you ever seen someone driven to distraction by another person’s quirky ways or their silly antics? This is the expression that covers that kind of relationship!

This phrase has another meaning that’s a bit steamier when whispered behind closed doors.

Eres mi alma gemela — You are my soulmate

The idea of being someone’s soul mate is ¡Muy romántico! (Very romantic!)

Mi corazón late por ti — My heart beats for you

This is one of the ultimate Spanish declarations of love, an admission that one person is alive because their heart beats from loving another so much.

Este corazón es tuyo — This heart is yours

Another declaration of undying love.

Definitely don’t expect to hear this one on a first—or even a 10th!—date.

La vida estaría vacía sin ti — Life would be empty without you

This may be one of the most definitive expressions of love in Spanish (and any language).

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Professing that an entire life would be devoid of meaning and purpose without another person? Spanish really does go big on sincere declarations of love.

Te amo más hoy que ayer pero menos que mañana — I love you more today than yesterday but less than tomorrow

This is super romantic, isn’t it?

Wouldn’t you melt if someone special murmured this expression to you?

Friendly and Platonic Ways to Say “I Love You” in Spanish

Te aprecio mucho   — I appreciate you a lot

You can use this expression to show that you care for someone, whether you mean it in a platonic, romantic or friendly way. It’s generally appropriate in any situation, even the office, and it’s a way to thank someone for their hard work or to express gratitude for their help.

Te quiero como amigo / amiga  — I love you as a friend

This is a friendly and platonic way to say “I love you” to a friend. Use it when you want to express your affection for someone without romantic intentions. (So, the nice way to friend-zone someone..!)

Te quiero un chorro   — I love you a bunch

This is a playful and affectionate phrase that expresses your love in a fun and lighthearted way.

Eres lo máximo  — You’re the best

Use this one to tell someone they’re appreciated, whether you’re thanking them for something or just generally telling them they’re pretty cool.

Eres un sol  — You are a ray of sunshine

This is a nice way to compliment someone’s personality and character. Use it when you want to tell someone that they’re a positive and uplifting influence on your life.

Spanish Terms of Endearment for Partners

You’ll often hear terms of endearment attached to phrases that mean “I love you” in Spanish, just as you would in English.

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Here are five of some of the most common ones:

Mi corazón — Sweetheart

¿Cómo estuvo tu día, mi corazón? — How was your day, sweetheart?

Mi amor — My love

¿Qué quieres comer, mi amor? — What do you want to eat, my love?

Mi vida — My life

Siempre estoy aquí para ti, mi vida. — I am always here for you, my love.

Querido / Querida — Darling, dear

Te extraño mucho, querido. — I miss you so much, darling.

Mi cielito — My little sky

Mi cielito, te ves tan bonita. — My little sky, you look so pretty.

For a full list of cute names you can use for your partner, check out our post here:

“I Love You” in Different Spanish-speaking Countries

Where you are in the Spanish-speaking world can change the way you express your love. Here are some regional ways to say “I love you”!

Te quiero con toda mi alma  (Mexico, Argentina)

Te quiero un mundo  (Spain, Argentina)

Te quiero un montón de veces  (Spain)

Te quiero un potosí  (Bolivia)

Te amo un chin   (Dominican Republic)

Te quiero un kilo  (Cuba)

Te quiero un pila’o  (Puerto Rico)

Te quiero un resto  (Argentina, Uruguay)

Te quiero un chin de arroz con coco  (Colombia)

Te amo un resto  (Dominican Republic)

Te quiero con toda mi vida  (Chile)

Slang Ways to Say “I Love You” in Spanish

Of course, slang also enters the picture. You can use slang to express your love and appreciation for your partner or friends. Check out some slangy expressions to say “I love you” in Spanish.

Te amo a morir  — I love you to death

Te amo un montón  — I love you a ton

Te amo un huevo  — I love you a lot (literally “I love you an egg”)

Te amo un putero  — I love you a whole lot (vulgar slang)

Te amo un resto  — I love you a lot (literally “I love you a rest”)

Te quiero mil  — I love you a thousand

Te quiero con todo mi ser  — I love you with all my being

Te quiero como un loco  — I love you like crazy

Te quiero un chingo  (Mexico, vulgar slang)

Cute and Romantic Spanish Love Phrases for Couples

When a simple three-word phrase just doesn’t cut it, you can share your love in a more expressive way. These romantic Spanish sentences will show your loved one just how much they mean to you.

Te amo con todo mi corazón.  — I love you with all my heart.

Eres el amor de mi vida.  — You are the love of my life.

No puedo imaginar mi vida sin ti.  — I can’t imagine my life without you.

Me haces muy feliz.  — You make me very happy.

Eres mi sol en días grises.  — You are my sunshine on cloudy days.

Quiero pasar el resto de mi vida contigo.  — I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

Eres mi sueño hecho realidad.  — You are my dream come true.

Me haces sentir vivo.  — You make me feel alive.

Tu sonrisa ilumina mi día.  — Your smile brightens up my day.

No hay nadie como tú.  — There is no one like you.

Te adoro con todo mi ser. — I adore you with all my being.

Siempre estás en mi mente.  — You are always on my mind.

Quiero abrazarte y no soltarte nunca más.  — I want to hug you and never let you go.

Eres la razón por la cual mi corazón late más fuerte.  — You are the reason why my heart beats faster.

Eres mi estrella.  — You are my star.

Eres mi ángel.  — You are my angel.

Eres mi dulce amor.  — You are my sweet love.

Me haces sentir mariposas en el estómago.  — You make me feel butterflies in my stomach.

Tienes el poder de hacerme feliz con tan solo una sonrisa.  — You have the power to make me happy with just one smile.

Siempre serás mi amorcito.  — You will always be my little love.

Tú eres mi sol en un día nublado.  — You are my sunshine on a cloudy day.

Eres mi destino y mi camino.  — You are my destiny and my path.

If you want to lighten the mood and make your partner laugh, check out these Spanish pick-up lines next. 

Spanish Love Quotes

From literature to shows and movies, the Spanish-language world is full of fantastic quotes about love.

El amor es como el viento, no se puede ver pero se puede sentir.  — Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it. (Anonymous)

El amor no es algo que miras, es algo que sientes. — Love is not something you look at, it is something you feel. (Paulo Coelho)

El amor es la única llave que abre los corazones.  — Love is the only key that opens hearts. (Anonymous)

El amor es un misterio; todo en él son fenómenos a cual más incomprensibles, y todo en él es ilógico.  — Love is a mystery; everything about it is incomprehensible, and everything in it is illogical. (Benito Pérez Galdós)

El amor es el hambre insaciable del hombre por la belleza.  — Love is man’s insatiable hunger for beauty. (Gabriele D’Annunzio)

Amar es un verbo que se conjuga en presente.  — To love is a verb conjugated in the present. (Mario Benedetti)

Nadie tiene dominio sobre el amor, pero el amor domina todas las cosas.  — No one has control over love, but love controls all things. (Lope de Vega)

El amor no se mira, se siente, y aún más cuando ella está junto a ti.  — Love is not looked at, it is felt, and even more so when she is next to you. (Miguel de Cervantes)

El amor es como una flor, hay que regarlo para que no muera.  — Love is like a flower, you have to water it so it doesn’t die. (Anonymous)

No hay nada más valioso en esta vida que el amor.  — There’s nothing more valuable in this life than love. (Virginia de la Mora, “La Casa de las Flores”)

El amor es el verdadero combustible que mueve al mundo.  — Love is the true fuel that moves the world. (Luis Expósito, “Amar es para siempre”)

El amor no se elige, simplemente sucede.  — Love isn’t chosen, it simply happens. (Valeria, “Valeria”)

El amor es una locura que solo el cura y el poeta entienden.  — Love is a madness that only the priest and the poet understand. (Lidia Aguilar, “Las chicas del cable”)

El amor es una aventura que solo los valientes se atreven a vivir.  — Love is an adventure that only the brave dare to live. (Tokio, “La casa de papel”)

El amor no es algo que buscas, es algo que encuentras cuando menos lo esperas.  —Love is not something you search for, it’s something you find when you least expect it. (Samuel García Domínguez, “Elite”)

No existe amor en paz. Siempre viene acompañado de agonías, éxtasis, alegrías intensas y tristezas profundas.  — There is no love without peace. It always comes accompanied by agonies, ecstasies, intense joys and deep sorrows. (Paulo Coelho, “Once Minutos”)

El amor es una pieza de teatro en la que los actos son muy cortos y los entreactos, muy largos.  — Love is a play in which the acts are very short and the intermissions, very long. (Honoré de Balzac, “La mujer de treinta años”)

Spanish Love Songs

Get in the mood and learn even more vocabulary with these Spanish-language love songs!

  • “Bésame Mucho” by Consuelo Velázquez (1940): This romentic bolero is a classic in Latin American music, and has has been performed by many artists over time. The song is literally titled “kiss me a lot,” and the song, as you can imagine, is all about a desire for love and affection.
  • “El Triste” by José José (1970): This Mexican ballad tells the story of a brokenhearted lover who’s trying to cope with the pain of a failed relationship. The song’s poignant lyrics and powerful vocals have made it one of the most iconic love songs in Latin American music history.
  • “Eres Tú” by Mocedades (1973): In this catchy Eurovision-entry song, you’ll hear about the joy and happiness that comes from being in love.
  • “El Amor” by José Luis Perales (1980): This song is simply titled “The Love” and expresses the beauty and power of love.
  • “Amor Eterno” by Juan Gabriel (1984): This heartbreaking ballad from Mexico is a tribute to the singer’s mother, who passed away when he was young. The lyrics express the singer’s undying love for his mother and the pain he feels at her loss.
  • “Como La Flor” by Selena (1992): This classic song is a passionate rendition of the idea that love is like a flower—it’ll wither away if you don’t take care of it.
  • “Amores Como el Nuestro” by Jerry Rivera (1992): In this salsa ballad, singer Jerry Rivera celebrates that special kind of love that you just know will last forever.
  • “Por Amarte” by Enrique Iglesias (1995): This song by 90s heartthrob Iglesias is about a person who’s so in love with their partner that they’re willing to do anything for them.
  • “Si Tú No Estás” by Rosana (1996): Love is grand, but losing a loved one is a painful experience. You can hear the emptiness and sadness of the loss of love in this song.
  • “Corazón Partío” by Alejandro Sanz (1997): This powerful ballad about a broken heart describes the pain and sorrow that the singer feels after a breakup, and how difficult it is for them to move on.
  • “Me Gustas Tu” by Manu Chao (2000): French-Spanish singer Manu Chao’s upbeat and catchy tune is all about falling in love with someone. You’ll want to sing along to the lyrics, which decsribe the excitement of discovering new love and the simple pleasures of being with the person you love.
  • “De Repente” by Soraya (2003): This romantic song by Colombian singer Soraya expresses how quickly and unexpectedly you can find love.
  • “Bonita” by J Balvin, Jowell & Randy (2017): Let’s switch gears to reggaeton! In this catchy tune, you get to hear how much the singer loves the object of his affections, and how he can’t stop thinking about her.
  • “Amor, Amor, Amor” by Jennifer Lopez ft. Wisin (2017): This fun pop dance song is all about the joy of falling in love. And it’s super catchy, too!
  • “Un Año” by Sebastián Yatra ft. Reik (2019): This song expresses a longing for a past relatoinship that the singer simply can’t move on from, and the hope that he will be reunited with his love one day.
  • “De Cero” by CNCO (2019): Hope for a new relationship is expressed in this reggaeton/pop song by Latin American boy band CNCO. The lyrics are all about the excitement of a new relationship and all the potential that it brings.


Spanish is a beautifully romantic language with many ways to express almost any degree of love for nearly anyone.

Use that versatility to your advantage and appreciate your family, friends or romantic partner.

Show the love like a true Latin lover—and watch it come back to you!

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