Love is among those an excellent universal things. The something that every one of us endure in part way, no matter what country or culture we come from, or what language we speak.

Interestingly, though, the way different societies express their love can vary widely. So, exactly how do the French talk and also think about love?

Let’s look at at exactly how to to speak “I love you” and “love” in French, and also some French love facts that might surprise you!


Howto say “I love you” in French

The French for “I love you” is Je t’aime (informal) or je vous aime (formal or plural.) In many cases, “je t’aime” is used just like “I love you” in English.

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If you desire to to speak “I love youso much”, be careful which comprehensive you usage (more on the in the nextsection). “I love friend so much” inFrench is either Je t’aime tellement or Je t’aime tant.

Je t’aime tellement is the one ns hear most often much more often – in movies and TV shows, ns mean, not claimed tome by a wire of prétendants (suitors). 

If you want to get more creative when it involves declaring your love because that someone in French, this write-up includes a great list that options, although I would certainly caution versus using Je t’adore if you’re proclaiming your love come a French person. French civilization seem to discover it funny and over-the-top, at the very least when a foreigner states it.

In fact, the French often portray Anglo-Saxons, especially Americans, as saying J’adore about anything and anyone…and before I realized this, I need to admit that, in mine case, they no necessarily wrong! however then, am I wrong to uncover beauty and also joy everywhere?

This song by eccentric French music star Philippe Katerine is what i think goes v the psychic of a French human being who hears someone say j’adore.

In a vault article, French Together’s Benjamin suggested this together another an excellent déclaration d’amour (declaration that love): Je suis amoureux/amoureuse de toi (I’m in love v you). the a phrase you often hear on French shows and movies, and also no wonder — as in English, it allows someone share your feelings and additionally makes them fragile in a way.

How to say “love” in French

The French word for “love” is l’amour. It’s supplied for romantic love, familial love or even a love the activities, things, and also ideas.

Butthat’s whereby the simplicity ends.

Originally, amour  was a feminine noun, however over the food oftime, it is changed. If you ask manymodern-day French speakers, amour is among only three words in the French language thatchanges gender when that pluralized, indigenous masculine when it’s singular, come femininewhen the plural.

So,you could see miscellaneous like:

Entre eux c’est l’amour fou.

They’re madly in love.

Il me semble que Jean a déjà eu plusieurs grandes amours dans sa vie.

It appears to me the Jean has experienced true love fairly a many already.

Butthis isn’t officially correct. Prestigious French grammarinstitutions, including the Académie Française (the company that determinesthe main rules for the French language), take into consideration amour a masculinenoun in both that is singular and also plural forms.

Still,don’t it is in surprised to see some French civilization making amour feminine whenit’s plural – old habits, like an initial loves, dice hard. And it could likewise be thatwhat you’re seeing or reading comes from a time when the word was officiallyfeminine in the plural type – or possibly someone is trying come convey older Frenchlanguage, for example in a historical fiction novel.

Unlessyou’re deliberately do the efforts to it is in old-fashioned, though, mental to save amourmasculine in both that is singular and also plural forms.

Howto say “to love” in French

Okay,so, like countless relationships, that got complicated! Luckily, “to love” in French is aimer,a consistent -er verb. like amour, it can be used for all kindsof love: romantic, familial, etc. Now, it is something to love!

Here are the conjugations of some of the most typical tenses that aimer:

PresentimparfaitPassé composéFuture
j’aimeJ’aimaisJ’ai aiméJ’aimerai
Tu aimesTu aimaisTu as aiméTu aimeras
Il/elle/on aimeIl/elle/on aimaitIl/elle/on a aiméIl/elle/on aimera
Nous aimonsNous aimionsNous avons aiméNous aimerons
Vous aimezVous aimiezVous avez aiméVous aimerez
Ils/elles aimentIls/elles aimaientIls/elles ont aiméIls/elles aimeront
ConditionalSubjunctiveImperative
J’aimeraisQue j’aimeAime
Tu aimeraisQue tu aimesAimons
Il/elle/on aimeraitQu’il/elle/on aimeAimez
Nous aimerionsQue nous aimions
Vous aimeriezQue vous aimiez
Ils/elles aimeraientQu’ils/elles aiment

Frenchwords related to aimer

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Thereare number of love-related native that room directly acquired from aimer.These include:

aimé(e) – loved/beloved. Example: Jacques est aimé de tous. (Jacques is loved byeveryone/Everyone loves Jacques)

bien-aimé(e) – beloved, well-beloved. Example: Nous sommes ici to water fêter notrebien- aimée Françoise. (We’re here to celebrate our beloved Françoise.)

How come say “I favor you” inFrench

Interestingly, there is noverb the specifically way “like” in French. Usually, you’ll view aimer,or perhaps the more formal apprécier.

Paradoxically, you have the right to tell likewise someone girlfriend like but don’t love castle by adding bien.

Yes, that’s right – if a French person says Je t’aime bien, the doesn’t median the love friend a lot, yet that they merely like you.

British comedian Paul Taylor hasa great theory around aimer bien thattruly made me laugh as soon as Ifirst heard it. Because that him, the a means for the French to keep dignity in casethey view that the person they’re trying come declare your love to no feelthe exact same way! You have the right to watch hisdelightful video about romantic in France below (the aimer bien component is in ~ the 2:10 minute mark).

But what if friend don’t want to let someone down easy? can you still use aimer bien? i have heard French world use that to present that castle really appreciate a good friend. But more commonly, if you desire to tell who you choose them in a non-romantic means in French, the best means to to express this is more than likely to merely say why you favor them.

For example: Tu es un bon ami (You’re a an excellent friend) or Je m’amuse toujours quand on est ensemble. (I always have fun once we’re together.)

You might be wonder if addingany adverb come je t’aime makes the statement much less strong. As this object points out, although that canbe true with certain ones, choose bien and beaucoup, because that manyothers, that’s not the situation at all.

We’ve seen that tellementand tant really perform make je t’aime stronger. Various other adverbs, like passionnément,are also sincere. And also then there are some cases where it just depends top top thecontext. That most likely sounds frustrating, yet I have the right to tell you that, even as aforeigner, i think the works. Often, you will do it hear this declarations in your ownpersonal life or in a book, movie, story, show, etc., for this reason you’ll currently knowsomething about the feeling of the human who’s saying it, after ~ all.

Ifyou’re worried the your explanation of love can be misunderstood early toadverbs, don’t be – just keep things straightforward and say Je t’aime.

How to say “I love something” inFrench

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If i’m eating a really delicious cookie, in English – especially American English – I might just allow out all of my feelings, every one of the explosive joy and also sensory joy that I’m suffering in that moment: “I love this cookie!” or “This is the ideal cookie I’ve ever before eaten,” and so on.

But the French uncover extreme displays of feeling unnecessary and also insincere. It would be perfectly it s okay to talk around loving cookies in general (J’aime les biscuits) but for a single cookie? Jamais! Instead, a French human being would save some verbal distance by simply complementing the cookie – for example, Il est vraiment bon, ce biscuit (This cookie is yes, really good).

How around activities? In thatcase, j’aime is fine, and will beunderstood as “like” or “really enjoy”.

If you want to convey that a certain activity is her life’s passion, usage something like passionné(e) par. For example, Je suis passionnée par la lecture et Paul est passionné par le sport. (I love to read, Paul loves sports.) however the expression is even an ext effective once passionné(e) is a noun, choose so: Je suis une passionnée de la lecture, Paul est un passionné du sport. (Reading is my passion, Paul’s passion is sports.) But if you can play that down, really, aimer and also a non-specific thing or task is fine.

Can you speak you love your pet inFrench?

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I have heard people say J’aimemon chien, J’aime mon chat, or J’aime just about any otherkind of pets they might have, quite often in France. Grammatically and also culturally, utilizing j’aimewith her pet is fine, with two exceptions.

The very first is, perform not speak J’aime ma chatte. Also if the human you’re talk to knows that you have actually a woman cat, what in the back of your mind, they’ll it is in giggling, due to the fact that it sounds like you’re talking around something rather – une chatte also means “pussy” (a vulgar word because that the vulva).

So just say J’aime mon chat – it’s most likely not necessary that the human being you’re talk to knows her cat’s sex anyway. Or if that is, girlfriend might have the ability to get away with it by including your cat’s name: J’aime ma chatte Chloë. (I love mine cat Chloë). Yet even then, confusion could ensue.

The second time it might be a bitcomplicated to say you love your pet is as soon as you’re talk to someone whodoesn’t obtain it – and in France, the may happen a lot.

Many French human being grew up in rural settings where animals had jobs and weren’t meant to be fawned over. These people will often scoff over “city folks” who lug their pets frequently to the vet.

That gift said, not all French human being feel this way, by far. In fact, a recent survey discovered that 60% that French civilization think the sharing their life with a pet can be emotionally fulfilling. They simply may not be as open about it as we space in some various other cultures.

And over there will always be peoplewho don’t obtain it, no matter what your background. Mine American father, forexample, was just as baffled around my including my cat’s surname on our Christmascard, as my French mother-in-law was. So, don’t be fear to proudly say J’aime mon pet de compagnie!(I love my pet!) and if you feeling moved and want come tell her pet Je t’aime,go because that it! In fact, why not protect against readingand perform it appropriate now?

As for a species or type ofanimal, it’s regular to refer to them as a collective and also use aimer. For example, Noëlle aime les poissons et Marie aimeles baleines. (Noellelikes fish and Marie likes whales.).

Somecommon French love vocabulary

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Thereare many, numerous ways come talk around love, however these indigenous come up frequently inFrench.:

faire l’amour – to do love. This is among those phrases that a most non-French speaker know, too! If she looking for an ext vulgar ways to to express this, examine out our list of French make an oath words.

le cool amour – true love. Example: Entre Pierre et Céline, c’est le cool amour. (Pierre and Celine are truly in love./Pierre is Céline’s true love./Céline is Pierre’s true love.)

l’amour de ma vie – The love of mine life.

fou amoureux/euse (de) – to be madly in love (with). Example: Elle est fou amoureuse de Johnny. (She’s madly in love through Johnny.)

fou/folle de toi/de lui/d’elle, etc. – crazy about you/him/her, etc. Example: Je suis fou de toi. (I’m crazy around you.)

dingue de toi/lde ui/d’elle, etc. – mad about you/him/her, etc. because that fans the the Paul Reiser and Helen hunt sitcom ‘Mad around You,’ this is the title in French.

un amour impossible – forbidden love. Example: Luna est amoureuse de Michel, le mari de sa sœur bien-aimée ; hélas, c’est un amour impossible. (Luna is in love v Michel, she beloved sister’s husband; alas, the a forbidden love.)

le/un premier amour – very first love. This deserve to refer come the suffer or a person. Note that the term remains the same, whether the subject is woman or feminine. Examples: 1. Le premier amour est un évènement majeur dans la vie. (Your an initial love is a significant moment in a who life.) 2. Bette était child premier amour. (Bette to be her first love.)

un amour de jeunesse – one’s childhood love/first love. the course, if you didn’t fall in love till you were older, i wouldn’t use this expression. In the case, just use mon premier amour

amant(e) – a lover. Example: Emma Bovary avait deux amants. (Emma Bovary had two lovers.)

filer le parfait amour – come be life the perfect love story/to be happily in love.

une histoire d’amour – a love story OR a love affair! Be cautious with this one – although usually the context renders it clear. Examples: 1. Et si c’était vrai… est l’histoire d’amour entre un homme et une femme qui est peut-être un fantôme. (If only It were True is a love story between a man and also a mrs who could be a ghost.) 2. Elle a eu une histoire d’amour avec le boucher. (She had an affair through the butcher.)

tomber amoureux/euse (de) – to fall in love (with). note that the verb tomber is conjugated through être in the past tense, which means it has to agree with the subject. Example: Elle est tombée amoureuse de Stéphane. (She dropped in love through Stéphane.)

le coup de foudre/avoir un coup de foudre – love at first sight/to fall in love at an initial sight. unequal its English equivalent, this expression in French is delightfully descriptive: un coup de foudre can additionally mean “a lightning strike”! Example: Je l’ai vu au musée, au milieu d’une foule, et là, c’était le coup de foudre. (I observed him at the museum, in the center of a crowd — it to be love at first sight.)

un philtre d’amour – a love potion. Okay, therefore this isn’t necessarily something that pertains to all relationships, yet you never ever know….

la vie amoureuse/sentimentale – one’s love life.

l’amour-propre – self-respect. Example: Non, je ne ferai pas semblant d’être amoureux de cette femme to water prendre son argent ! Elle est méchante et écœurante ! J’ai de l’amour-propre, quand même. (No, ns won’t ~ do so to it is in in love v this mrs in stimulate to get her money! she’s mean and repulsive! I’ve gained some self-respect, after ~ all.

déclarer sa flamme – to declare your love for someone. I love this expression, due to the fact that it provides it seem choose the love within of you is choose a flame. Therefore poetic! You can use that as-is once talking about declaring your love to someone, or girlfriend can include an thing pronoun to specify the you’re proclaiming your love to someone. Examples: 1. Aujourd’hui je vois Thérèse et je déclare ma flamme ! (Today when I see Thérèse, I’ll declare my love!) 2. Aujourd’hui je vois Thérèse et je lui déclare ma flamme ! (Today once I see Therese, I’ll declare my love come her.)

bisous/gros bisous – Love/Lots the Love/Kisses. This is a an extremely common way to end emails, letters, and even message messages with family members or close friends.

bisou – kiss/Love. This is the identical of the above, yet for the human being you’re in love with/in a partnership with. The idea is the while you will do faire la bise (give cheek kisses) through other civilization you’re close to in her life, with the person you’re in love with, you’d exchange a solitary kiss top top the lips.

jtm – a common method to abbreviation Je t’aime in message messages. If girlfriend saythe letters the waythey’re pronounce in the French alphabet, it sounds prefer this phrase. Ofcourse, if you select to text someone “jtm”, simply be sure they’re thesort of human who’d evaluate it.

Longing for more French love words? this is a an excellent love-, romance-, and friendship -related vocabulary list: Note, though, the while some human being (especially that an enlarge generation) do refer to their female loved one(s) together ma chatte, it probably will sound vulgar or make someone snicker, since, together I discussed previously, la chatte also means “pussy”, so protect against using that one.

CommonFrench phrases and expressions about love

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Hereare some typical French phrases and also sayings about love.

There are numerous others, of course, native lines the poetry, come funny retorts in plays and movies. Yet these room the generic sayings that have become so much a part of the language the they’re almost a cliché. You’ll uncover them – or puns or references based upon them – almost everywhere French pop culture and in day-to-day life.

L’amour rend aveugle – Love is blind. If we have the very same expression in English, it’s since some variation of this idea has actually been roughly since antiquity. But, as in English, this expression is omnipresent in French.

On ne badine pas avec l’amour – don’t trifle v love/Love is severe business. This expression originates from the eponymous 1834 beat by Alfred de Musset and became a typical saying in French. You can read the pat for complimentary here, if she interested.

vivre d’amour et d’eau fraîche – come live top top love alone (literally: come live top top love and cool water). This can be a an excellent or bad thing, relying on how the speaker feels.

un peu, beaucoup, à la folie – He/She loves me, he/she loves me not… – vice versa, in English, this game involves plucking petals that a flower and alternate “He/She loves me” and “He/She loves me not” v each one, the French version actually contains a lot much more options; the phrase is a shorter version of Il/Elle m’aime un peu, beaucoup, passionnément, à la folie, pas du tout (He/She loves me a little, a lot, passionately, madly, not at all.). one of my favourite French romcoms has actually a location that’s a pat on native of this famous phrase and the first one on this list: Un peu, beaucoup, aveuglement (A little, a lot, blindly).

Six points you may not know about love in France

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For countless of us, the French are thought about the many romantic peoplein the world. But when you learn around how the French see many aspects ofromantic love, you conveniently realize that they no romantic in the means mostpeople expect. Below are 6 things that can surprise you about love inFrance:

1. The French aren’t into large romantic gestures.

One the the biggest social differences between French and manyother societies (including mine own indigenous culture, American), is that the Frencharen’t into huge emotional displays. They tend to see them together eitherfake, stupid, or bald lies — in ~ least external of fiction.

When it pertains to romantic gestures, this exchange native thefilm Gazon maudit sums up that mentality: A male selling roses (a commonsight in France) approaches a pair at a table. The man tells the flowerseller “Non merci, top top a déjà baisé.” (No thanks, we’ve currently fucked.).

Most French human being are much more low-key about expressing their emotions – including when they’re in love. They may not take it you up to the Eiffel Tower and propose come you in former of a large crowd that people, however they will certainly quietly prayer you, play a subtle video game of seduction, and want to spend real, quality moments together. That’s not to say you will do it never gain a surprising or pricey gift or an invitation to dinner or a weekend getaway or part such thing, but if friend do, it i will not ~ be done in a loud, flashy way.

Which method of mirroring love is better? Or possibly a middle ground isthe ideal? That’s up to each individual. But I will say from experience that ifyou need elaborate, overt displays and also affirmations of affection and also love, thetypical French human may not be your right match.

2. Valentine’s Day no a significant French holiday.

Lots of people I recognize dream the visiting Paris on Valentine’s Day. It’s true that there are several romantic points to do right here – however then again, you deserve to do every one of those points pretty much any other job of the year, as well.

Although Valentine’s work is a holiday on the spiritual andcultural calendar in France, many French civilization don’t celebrate that in any kindof elaborate way. Yes, part couples might go to dinner, specifically if castle dating. But boxes the chocolates, cards(including valentines exchanged amongst schoolkids), and also enormous bouquets arefar from the norm among French people.

One thing that is a French Valentine’s Day practice though,is Parisians declaringtheir love on the electronic community announcement panels the are discovered throughoutthe city. A couple of weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, Parisians (and anyone in Paris atthe time) deserve to submit quick messages to those lock love. Plenty of of these will beselected come be post citywide ~ above the announcement panels. In recent years,they’ve additionally been post on the City that Paris’s official website. The messages canbe anonymous or specifically addressed to and also for someone. They can be anopportunity come déclarer sa flamme, or just to show appreciation ofsomeone you’re currently in a connection with.

To me, even this custom has actually a French aspect to it: the romantic,but not in-your-face. The indigenous on the panels are published and change often.There’s no noise or interference through anyone’s life involved, and also because fullnames aren’t used, the people connected still keep their privacy.

3. The French no the most sexually active people in the world.

The French don’t have the many sex out of any country, as manysurveys show. In this recent one through Durex, Francedidn’t even crack the height 9!

Of course, over there are plenty of factors that can make surveysinaccurate or inapplicable. Maybe many French people and their partner don’tuse Durex condoms, or those who do have an ext important things to execute thanparticipating in a survey. Yet from experience, I can say the while sex isoften talked and also joked around here, ns don’t know any kind of French people who have the right to saythey faire l’amour every day.

4. In France, love no necessarily cause marriage.

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In numerous cultures, the a herbal evolution: A pair falls inlove, days for a while, and then gets engaged and married. Or they might datefor a long time, then decide they want kids and also get married in bespeak to be acceptedas parental by culture or your family. In France, nobody of the is necessarilytrue.

Many people do acquire married here, but unless they’re from atraditional family members or subculture, yes no push by French culture atlarge to execute this (inheritance regulations aside). countless French civilization I know, fromthe old woman i rented a room from as soon as I to be a college student in Paris ago in theday, come 20- and also 30-something friends, live v the human being they love, butaren’t married. This is true even ifthey have actually kids. Those who room married could have even waited to perform so afterhaving kids.

According come a 2016 inspection of French couplesliving in the very same household, 73% to be married, 20% were unmarried, and 7% werePACS’ed (The PACS (PacteCivile de Solidarité) is the rough identical of a civil union in the unified States).

All of these couples may have kids without referee by the state or culture in general. That’s among the points I love most about life in France. Regardless that your connection status the co-parent of her child, you’re not shunned due to the fact that you don’t have actually a ring on your finger.

5. Not every Frenchman has a mistress.

Whether you’re a fan of classic French literature or did you do it justheard the rumors, you might think the cheating on your spouse – particularly mencheating on their wives – is de rigueur in France.

There space some social habits the would earlier this up. Because that example, the phrase un cinq à sept, which refers to the person you sleep through at the end of the workday (5 to 7pm), when your spouse think you’re still in ~ work. Or the many French movies whereby infidelity seems par for the course, and is often forgiven, particularly if males are the culprits.

Despite every one of this, France no the many unfaithful countryin the world. the “honor” goes to Thailand!Still, the rate of extramarital to work in France is high; it ranking 5thout the the list of the many unfaithful countries, v a rate of 43% ofsurveyed world having had an affair.

But romantic, monogamous love isn’t necessarily dead. The studyfound that 63% the French people believe you deserve to only important love one person. Andin another poll, 67% the theFrench civilization surveyed believe in a lifelong love, and also 76% are happy in theircurrent relationship.

If you in love with these how amazing facts, here’s yet one more survey that willreveal even much more about love in France.

French love songs

Like most languages and cultures, French boasts plenty of lovesongs. In fact, a current poll asked French people to to speak which love songs aretheir favorite. Here’s the perform of theFrench’s ten favourite love songs.

See more: Translate I Love You In German ? How To Say I Love You In German

Interestingly, the French’s favourite love song is one by EdithPiaf, but not her most famous international hit La vie en rose. Instead,it’s the moving Hymne à l’amour. You deserve to listen to it (and check out thelyrics) here.

And if ten French love songs isn’t enough, here’s ahundred more!

I’d love to perform the French’s various other favorite love-themed things,from movies, come books, to poetry, yet unfortunately, no one appears to have donea vote of those. So, why not uncover some lover French works about love bydoing an online search?

Do you have actually a favourite French love song, poem, movie, book, or other else? re-superstructure the love in the comments!