With its Roman roots making it a romance language, it’s no wonder French has often been dubbed the language of love.
We still use many French loanwords in English for acts of love, we get engaged and become fiancées, and we buy bouquets when we want to flirt.
Even the country’s capital Paris is known as the city of love. It is likely, you are no stranger to the phrase “Je t’aime” but there are many types of love you might want to express.
We love our friends in a platonic way and our family members with deeply emotional love, but it isn’t passionate. We can express love in many ways in our native language, but how about in the language of love itself?
Romantic or platonic, let’s take a look at 16 ways to say “I love you” in French.
How to Say “I Love You” in French – An Overview
|I love you for romantic partners|
|Je t’aime||I love you|
|Je t’aime pour toujours||I love you forever|
|Je t’aime de toute mon âme||I love you with all my soul|
|Je t’adore||I adore you|
|Je suis amoureux / amoureuse de toi||I am in love with you|
|Je suis fou / folle de toi||I am crazy about you|
|J’ai le béguin||I am crazy about you|
|Tu me plais||I like you|
|Je te kiffe||I like you|
|J’ai le coup de foudre pour toi||I fell in love with you at first sight|
|Je me suis amouraché(e) de toi||I fell for you|
|Je t’aime chaque jour davantage||I love you more each day|
|I love you for friends|
|Je t’aime bien||I like you|
|Je t’apprecie||I appreciate you|
|Tu es genial||You’re great|
Telling Romantic Partners “I love you” in French
We have to lead with “Je t’aime”, the classic way to say “I love you” in French. You will probably recognize it from the infamous song by Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg that has made it into many TV and movie soundtracks over the years!
But you should know it is reserved for serious, romantic relationships and would rarely be heard between friends or family unless it was humorously.
The expression can be extended with words such as “beaucoup” which means “a lot” or “tellement” to add “so much” to the proclamation of your love.
Je t’aime pour toujours
As if “Je t’aime” wasn’t romantic enough you could go one step further with “Je t’aime pour toujours” which translates to “I love you forever”.
It goes without saying that this one is for intense romantic bonds, such as happily married couples.
Je t’aime de toute mon âme
On the subject of marriage, a bold way to declare your love could be to use the expression “Je t’aime de toute mon âme” . This kicks things up a whole notch as you are saying “I love you with all my soul”. You could substitute the word “âme” for “coeur” if you wanted to say “I love you with all my heart” instead.
This next one is easy to remember because our version of the word shares the same roots “Je t’adore” means “I adore you”.
This one is less passionate, so you can use it more flexibly. It is acceptable between very close friends and not too strong for a crush or budding romance and at the same time can be used to speak to younger family members.
Je suis amoureux/amoureuse de toi
This next one requires a bit of conjugation but it is well worth it being as it is a bonafide declaration. “Je suis amoureux de toi” means “I am in love with you” and is the way that a man would use the phrase, if you are a woman you will need to change the word “amoureux” to amoureuse.
Je suis fou/folle de toi
More conjugation is necessary with this phrase as well but it is a great expression for those who are madly in love with one another.
“Je suis fou de toi” is a heated way to say “I am crazy about you”. You could also say “Je t’aime a la folie” or “I love you like crazy” to tell someone that you are passionate about them and that you love them intensely.
J’ai le béguin
If you were “crushing on someone”, in French, you might say “J’ai le béguin pour *insert name*” adding the person’s name if you were confessing to a friend. The expression is very colloquial and loosely equates to “I have a crush on *name*”.
Tu me plais
When it’s early days you don’t want to frighten off a potential love interest bunny boiler style. “Tu me plais” is a far more innocent place to start when things are blossoming.
The phrase means “I like you” but you can get creative with different adverbs to insinuate how much!
- “Tu me plais un petit peu” (I like you a little bit)
- “Tu me plais beaucoup” (I like you a lot)
- “Tu me plais enormement” (I like you enormously/loads)
Je te kiffe
Much Like the above you might hear “Je te kiffe” among younger people. It is an Arabic loanword that has made its way into modern street French, a very cool and colloquial way to say you ‘like, like’ someone.
J’ai le coup de foudre pour toi
Love, at first sight, is a romanticized concept that has made it into many languages and French is no exception! “Le coup de foudre” is their equivalent. To say “I fell in love with you at first sight” to someone special you would use the following phrase; “J’ai le coup de foudre pour toi”.
Je me suis amouraché(e) de toi
Another way to say you are enamored would be to say “I fell for you” or Je me suis amouraché de toi” But don’t forget a woman must use the conjugation amourachée in place of the masculine amouraché each is pronounced the same it is only when written they change.
Je t’aime chaque jour davantage
The literal translation for this one is “I love you each day further” but it better equates to “I love you more each day” and is again a lovely way to show appreciation for the one you love.
Telling Friends “I love you” in French
If you want to express platonic love without getting your wires crossed, and tell someone you like them simply as a friend then you want the phrase “j’aime *insert name*”, it means “I like (person)” but only as a friend.
Je t’aime bien
This next one is going to seem very counterintuitive but trust us! It’s important to listen when someone says “Je t’aime”. Rather than going red-faced and embarrassing yourself, listen out for what they add to it!
Most of the time adding an adverb makes something more so. However, While the phrase “Je T’aime” is pretty serious, adding the word “bien” to it makes it instantly more casual.
Perfect for use between good friends. You are essentially saying “I like you” but in a non-romantic way.
You can even change the informal ‘t’ for a formal “vous” with those you know less well, like a new work colleague you are getting along well with.
This one is easy enough to guess!
“Je t’apprecie” means “I appreciate you”, it’s a casual way to let someone know you care and ideal to use to thank someone.
Tu es genial
We don’t always say “I love you” or “I like you” in a straightforward way, often we offer compliments. A good phrase to have is “Tu es genial” which means “you are great” or “you’re amazing”.
Romantic French Words and Expressions
Tu me manques
There are other ways we indicate love for someone, often we make comments on their absence. You might want to say “I miss you”, the way to say that in French is with “Tu me manques”.
J’ai hâte de te revoir
You also might want to say “J’ai hâte de te revoir” which is a phrase that means “I’m looking forward to seeing you” or “I can’t wait to see you”. It is casual enough to use with friends and family members but you could use it romantically if something is developing between you and a potential partner.
Tu es l’homme/la femme de mes rêves
This one is a little more romantic “Tu es l’homme/la femme de mes rêves” translates as “you are the man/woman of my dreams” and is unmistakably amorous.
Ideal for ending a long-distance phone call with someone you care about; “Bisous” means “kisses”. It’s informal and can be used innocently or romantically. You can even say “gros bisous” to say “big kisses”.
Similarly, “Je t’embrasse” which means literally “I embrace you” can be interpreted as “I hug you” or “I kiss you”. As well as over the phone, you can use it to sign off a text or email with somebody that you love.
Tu me rends tellement heureux/heureuse
You might want to make sure someone knows that they have a positive effect on you.
“Tu me rends tellement heureux/heureuse” translates as “you make me so happy”. Depending on the context it could be used romantically or not so romantically and is another great phrase to have at your disposal!
Je ne suis pas bien sans toi
This last one is a little more lovey-dovey, if someone has you totally head over heels then you could say you miss them with more intimate connotations than “Tu me Manques” that we already looked at above.
“Je ne suis pas bien sans toi” means something like “I am not well without you” and demonstrates the importance of the person in your life!
French Terms Of Endearment
Before we are through with our love-fuelled French phrases we thought we would leave you with a few bonus terms of endearment. Each can be used with the pronoun Mon for a man or Ma for a woman to say “my”.
|Mon amour||My love|
|Ma chérie||My dear (feminine form)|
|Mon chéri||My dear (masculine form)|
|Mon ange||My angel|
|Mon bébé||My baby|
|Ma puce||My flea|
|Ma biche||My deer|
I Love You in French – Final Thoughts
Well, now you have a tonne of new phrases to try out on your next French fancy!
Granted, a few of the more intense phrases are probably best reserved for something serious but we are sure we have given you enough ways to say “I love you” in French for any budding relationship.
So be it a fab friend or a hot crush, share the love and tell them how you feel!