I Love You in Spanish (and Its Variations)
How to Say I Love You in Spanish
The best known and quite universal way of saying “I love you” in Spanish is:
Te means you. Quiero is the first person singular form of the Spanish verb querer, which means to love or to want.
A common mistake is that people add the word tu at the end: Te quiero tu. Tu means you as subject, while te means you as object. The you is already included in Te quiero. If you say Te quiero tu, you are saying something like Love you you, which is nonsense. Remember that it’s:
The word order in Spanish is reversed (you literally say “I you love”) compared to English.
You may put the word yo (which means I) at the beginning if you want to stress your role:
Yo te quiero.
But the yo is not necessary in Spanish.
Using Te quiero as I Love You
You can almost never get wrong or inappropriate with Te quiero. You can say it to your wife/husband, lover, but also to your friends or family.
Besides Te quiero, there are many other variations, words, and phrases which you can say to express that you love, like, or desire someone. As with many other Spanish words and phrases, there are big differences in their use across countries and even regions.
Te quiero vs. Te amo
While Te quiero can be usually used for both romantic and non-romantic love (e.g. with family or friends), Te amo should be reserved to the one person who is your spouse or lover. It is generally inappropriate to say Te amo to your grandmother or colleague.
Furthermore, while Te quiero is more or less universally used across the Spanish speaking world, Te amo is only common in some countries and regions. If your spouse is from some other regions, he or she may actually laugh at you saying Te amo. It is also a phrase you can often hear in movies or telenovelas.
I Love You Too in Spanish
When someone tells you “I love you” in Spanish, you may want to reply “I love you too”. In Spanish it is:
También te quiero.
También te amo.
The difference between quiero and amo is of course the same as explained above (quiero to anyone, amo only to your lover, and not even everywhere).
The extra word, también, means also or too. Notice the accent on the é.
There are several variations of “I love you too”. You can change the word order or again add the word Yo (which means I) to stress it. All of the following are correct:
Te quiero también. (you love too)
Yo te quiero también. (I you love too)
Yo también te quiero. (I too you love)
And the same goes with te amo: Te amo también, Yo te amo también, or Yo también te amo.
But this one is not correct:
Te también quiero. (you too love)
Remember that you should never put any other words between te + quiero or te + amo.
Here you can find more variations of I love you too in Spanish.
More Variations of I Love You in Spanish
The following are a few more phrases that you can say as I love you in Spanish:
Me gustas. – I like you. You can say this to someone you like or have a crush on. Of course it is only appropriate in some situations.
Te adoro. – Similar meaning as Te amo. Again, its use is subject to regional differences.
I’m in Love with You in Spanish
Another, slightly more difficult version – I’m in love with you. In Spanish it is different depending on who is saying it to whom:
Estoy enamorado de ti. (a man saying “I’m in love with you”)
Estoy enamorada de ti. (a woman saying it)
The only difference is the letter at the end of the second word: enamorada vs. enamorado. While -a is the typical female ending in Spanish, -o is the typical male ending. The rest of the phrase is the same. Estoy means “I am” and de ti literally means “of you”. Enamorado or enamorada literally means something like “being put into love”.