Five Easy Ways How to Say "I Love You" in French — Amour Fou, Toujours!
Paris is the city of love. With its breathtaking architecture and cultural richness, the city is the perfect place to fall in love. But what if you don't speak French? What if you don't know how to say 'I love you' in case you meet the love of your life in France or another French-speaking country?
Don't worry, we've got you covered. French pronunciation might take some getting used to for English speakers, but you don't need a huge vocabulary to become fluent, and certainly not to tell someone you love them. French is a beautiful and melodious language many consider romantic, so it is the perfect language to declare your love for someone.
We have collected five easy ways for you to say 'I love you' in French. The following suggestions are suitable for various situations, but make sure you choose carefully if you want to avoid any misunderstandings or awkward situations.
Our unique French Frequency Dictionaries help you master French fast and effectively. You’ll get 10,000 most common words in French together with their translation and phonetic transcription. Each entry also has an example sentence to show you its usage in context. Vocabulary learned through context is remembered better!
5 easy ways to say "I Love You" in French
1. The Classic: "Je t'aime."
IPA: [ʒə tɛm]
Je t'aime is the literal French translation of “I love you” and the most common way of declaring your love for someone. However, the French are quite liberal in their use of the verb aimer ('to love') and might use it in situations that have nothing to do with romance.
The reason for this is that there is no word for 'to like' in French, so if you want to say you like (but don't necessarily love) something or someone, you would have to use aimer for lack of an alternative. If, for example, you wanted to say you liked Paris, you would say J'aime Paris, which means you love the city when translated literally.
But still, Je t'aime is the easiest and most common way of saying “I love you” in French and probably the easiest to pronounce. It is the context of an utterance that determines whether aimer means “to like” or “to love.” You cannot go wrong with Je t'aime, so this is your go-to phrase if you're ever unsure about how to declare your love for someone.
2. The Unambiguous: "Je t'adore."
IPA: [ʒə tadɔʁ]
If you want to make sure your declaration of love isn't accidentally weakened by the ambiguity of the verb aimer, you might want to use adorer ('to adore') instead. This makes the sentence much stronger and eliminates all ambiguity. If you're sure about your feelings and want the other person to know how strongly you feel about them, "Je t'adore" is the choice for you.
Even the most passionate French person would not corrupt adorer to say they simply liked something — unless it is an ironic exaggeration. For example, you might say J'adore le sport ('I adore sports') and actually mean you hate it, but if you tell a person you adore them, they will definitely get the right message.
Je t'adore is a phrase you could also use when you're just flirting. It might sound like a bit of an overstatement, but it will definitely flatter the person you're talking to and make them more likely to keep talking to you.
3. The Romantic: "Mon amour."
"Mon amour" is a phrase you can use in several ways. It translates as “my love” and works either as a nickname or as a literal description. For the latter, you would have to include it into the phrase "Tu es mon amour" (you are my love).
Of the three possibilities mentioned so far, this is the most surefire way to declare your love for someone. No one is going to mistake an utterance like this as a simple pleasantry.
However, this is definitely not something you want to say on a first date as it might come across as overly dramatic. Only use it for someone you truly love and have known for a while.
Mon amour can also serve as a great nickname for someone you love, just like you would use 'darling' in English. It is strong when said to your partner or spouse, but you can just as well use it to talk to your kids or a close friend.
4. The Passionate: "Je suis fou/folle de toi."
IPA: [ʒə sɥi fu/fɔl də twa]
This phrase is for the passionate: It means “I am crazy about you” and is a powerful declaration of love. In contrast to "mon amour," this is a more subtle way of saying “I love you” and can be suitable even on a first date. Saying this might build positive tension between you and the person you are in love with because of its playful undertone.
Beware of the gender difference when using this phrase. If you are a man, you need the male verb form fou, if you are a woman, you have to use folle. Otherwise, you risk making a literal fool of yourself. The gender of the person you're speaking to doesn't affect the grammar of the phrase though.
5. The Melodramatic: "Je t'aime de tout mon coeur."
IPA: [ʒə tɛm də tu mɔ̃n kœʁ]
If you're an old school romantic, this one is for you. It translates as “I love you with all my heart” and is a great way of telling someone that you really and truly love them. This is the kind of material you might want to use if you're just about to propose to your partner or celebrate your anniversary.
It might sound a little cheesy in your English-speaking ears, but the French language is one of music and romance. In French, it's perfectly acceptable to say “I love you” with a phrase like this. But still, you might want to consider the context more carefully before using this one. Saying it too early in a relationship might scare your partner away.
Bonus: "J'ai un faible pour toi."
IPA: [ʒə œn fɛbl pɔʁ twa.]
Just in case you're feeling extra creative and don't want to use any of the standard phrases to say “I love you” in French, here's a bonus for you. J'ai un faible pour toi means “I have a weak spot for you” and is a very cute and sassy way of saying you love someone.
This phrase doesn't need any of the big words like love, heart or adoration. It is a bold and powerful statement with simple words, which makes it an extra romantic thing to say without sounding pretentious.
Another advantage of this subtle phrase is that you can use it under any circumstances because it allows for a wide range of interpretations. The person you're saying it to can read anything into it, which makes it a very exciting thing to say on any date. The person's reaction will certainly reveal how they feel about you, which is always good to know.
What to Say If Someone Tells You They Love You in French
Of course, this article would be useless if we weren't going to tell you how to answer if someone declares their love for you in French. The list above will help you say you love someone and understand it if someone says the same to you. Here are two scenarios for answering, just in case:
You Love Them Back
If the love between you and the person telling you they love you is mutual, you're in luck — not only because you might have found the love of your life, but also because you can go for an easy answer and just say pareillement, which means “in the same way.” Saying pareillement works for all of the utterances above and means that you feel the same way.
You Don't Love Them Back
In the unfortunate case of unrequited love, your answer will have to be a bit more complicated. Assuming you don't want to hurt the person who declared their love for you, you should opt for something respectful like "Je t'aime aussi, mais seulement comme un/une ami/e," which is the French equivalent of “I love you, too, but only as a friend.” This will set affairs straight between you and let the other person know how you feel in the most caring way possible.
Don’t forget to take a look at our French Frequency Dictionaries. They are a fantastic source if you want to learn practical vocabulary effectively. You’ll get 10,000 most common words listed by frequency and alphabet. 10,000 example sentences translated into English are a great reading practice, too!
Love Speaks Its Own Language
Don't worry if you can't keep all of these phrases in your mind right away. The good thing about love is that it speaks its own language. It is a language which is universally intelligible, no matter your native tongue. A romantic gesture is a romantic gesture, regardless of the words surrounding it.
So, don't despair when trying to learn to say “I love you” in French and remember that you don't need a massive vocabulary to become fluent. The key to both understanding and speaking French is to learn the most frequent words of the language.
And if you want to tell someone you love them but are at a loss for words: A kiss will do the job just as well as words — or maybe even better.