You’ve probably heard the phrase “te amo” in songs, series, or movies which translates to “I love you” in Spanish. Although this is the correct way of saying “I love you” it isn’t the only way! The other way of saying “I love you” in Spanish is “te quiero“. They don’t have the same meaning, and they’re used in different circumstances, on different occasions, and for different people depending on how close you are to them. Therefore it’s critical to understand when to use “te amo” or “te quiero”, as they might be confusing for beginners in Spanish. So let us examine the differences.
Te amo is a romantic and compassionate way to express your love for someone or something. Since it includes the verb “amar” which implies to love, it should be used when you have a strong attachment for something or someone. However, “te quiero” translates to “to want”, and is used to show your desire to want something or someone.
Even though there are many similar words in English and Spanish, to have a better understanding, be sure to check out our article on Spanish words.
13 Ways to Say “I Love You”
To be specific, Te amo means “I love you” which is very heavy. Just like in English, it can carry a lot of weight so you would only want to say this to your partner, family, or a very close friend. The word is very romantic so be careful who you say “te amo” to!
Example: “Te amo mi amor” (I love you, my love.)
Te quiero means “I want you”; although the meaning is quite intimate in English, it is actually less romantic in Spanish. Te quiero can be used for friends, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a family member to that you are close. To learn more about family, check our article on family in Spanish
Example: “Ella te quiero mucho” (She really loves you/cares for you.)
So, Which one is it: Te quiero or Te amo?
To better understand which one of these two phrases to use, let us have a snapshot of when to use, how to use, the level of affection, and to whom to use either. Also, our article on miss you in Spanish can be interesting to read!
|Te amo||Te quiero|
|Whom to use||Romantic partner and anything we deeply love||Friends, close families, someone in a casual or fresh relationship, or for anything we want|
|When to use||When confessing our love for our partner, when discussing an interesting lovely scene we watched in a romantic movie when expressing our genuine love for something or someone etc.||When expressing our friendly care or love|
|Level of affection||Deeply close to the heart||Averagely close|
|Abstract nouns||Should be used to show love for topics such as country, patience, generosity, brilliance, etc.||Cannot be used to qualify our love for abstract concepts|
10 Other Romantic Ways to Say “I love you”
Expressions of love to our partners should be spontaneous and uninhibited, with no limit to how far we may go to be sincere, romantic, and passionate in our expressions of our affections for them. Let’s take a look at 10 other romantic ways to express our feelings to say “I love you”, while not saying those words. Our article on conversational Spanish might also help you get better in conversations!
1.Tienes todo mi corazón – You have my heart
Due to the seriousness of its meaning, this sentence should be used only for someone you are romantically in love with and intend to marry. Its English translation “You have my heart” does not really mean you would extract your heart and give it to your partner but rather a way to assure your partner that they are always in your thinking and that you care deeply for them.
Example: “Te amo muchísimo. Tienes todo mi corazón para toda la vida.” (I love you very much. You have my whole heart for for my whole life)
2.Eres mi vida – You are my life
This sentence is also a romantic approach to show one’s feelings for someone. It does not imply that they are precisely your life, but rather that you adore them as much as you adore your life. It should be said to someone who means the world to you.
Example: “Tú eres mi vida, mi corazón y mi alma” (Your are my life, heart, and my soul.)
3.Besarte es como entrar al Paraiso – Kissing you is like seeing the stars
It’s always lovely to look up at the dazzling stars in the sky. As a result, this expression is more than just a delicious and refreshing way to make your partner feel loved but also valued. When you kiss them, it’s as though you’re witnessing the magnificent stars.
Example: “Cada vez que te beso, es como entrar al paraiso de nuevo” (Every time I kiss, its like seeing the stars all over again.)
4.No puedo vivir sin ti – I can’t live without you
Food, water, and air are essential components of life that no one can survive without, and sometimes we want to compare our spouse to a very significant individual in our lives who we cannot live without. This expression should only be used in a serious, mature romantic relationship in which we are certain that our spouse cannot live without us.
Example: “Natalia, no puedo vivir sin ti”. (Natalia, I can’t live without you.)
5.Eres mi media naranja – You are my other half
It literally translates to “You’re my half orange.” It’s not meaning a fruit you eat, but rather a cute way to say you’re my other half. It’s often used in serious relationships but doesn’t carry serious meaning. The usage is similar to that of English, a cute and light way to show love.
Example: “Tu yo yo estamos hechos uno para el otro, eres mi media naranja”. (You and I are meant for each other, you are my other half.)
6.Tú eres mi Felicidad – You are my happiness
A wonderful relationship brings happiness. This expression is usually used to confirm to your loving partner that they are your source of happiness. This sentence should be said to a partner who goes out of their way to make us happy. Your partner feels loved, valued, and appreciated because they know you find happiness in them.
Example: “Tú eres mi felicidad. Sin ti, no sale el sol y todo es oscuridad.” (You are my happiness. Without you, the sun doesn’t come out and everything is dark.)
7.Tú eres mi alma gemela – You are my soulmate
Ever thought of your partner as someone you are destined to be with? The sentence “Tu eres mi alma gemela” can be used to express your love to them, so they know that you not only love them, but they are the actual person destined for your life. It is a subtle romantic way to let your partner feel fulfilled with you.
Example: “Tú eres mi alma gemela, no se que haria sin ti.” (You are my soulmate, I don’t know what I would do without you.)
8.Cada día te amo mas – Each day I love you more
Every true relationship’s love grows stronger by the day. As you come to know each other better, you begin to understand and love each other more deeply, and you can be certain that the emotion will get stronger with each passing day. This expression can be used to tell your sweetheart how much their love grows in your heart.
Example: “Ya llevamos 2 ańos juntos, y con cada día que pasa te amo más” (We’ve been dating for two years, and as day passes I love you more.)
9.Eres mi sol – You are my sunshine
This is a nice compliment to pass to one’s partner or someone you like. It does not necessarily mean you like the person intimately, but when you are around them, they radiate positivity and make you laugh, and smile. However, you can use the expression in a romantic relationship for your partner.
Example: “Eres mi sol, luna, y estrellas.” (You are my sunshine, my moon, and my stars.)
10.Estoy loco/loca por ti – I’m crazy about you
You can use this phrase to express your feelings for your partner. This is not an expression to use on your first few dates, but with someone, you’ve been together for a long time. Remember to use the correct form of the adjective based on your gender (loco for male, loca for female)!
Example: “Estoy loca por ti, mi amor.” (I’m crazy about you, my love).
¿Listo Para Confesar tu Amor? – Ready to Confess your Love?
Now that you know the different ways to say I love you in Spanish, try practicing them around your loved ones! Remember that “te amo” is for your partners, family, or really close friends; while “te quiero” can be used for friendships, or new relationships. Learn other ways to express your love to others, by taking online Spanish classes and connecting with Spanish tutors with AmazingTalker.