Do you want to learn how to say I love you in Chinese? We are going to explore some of the most authentic and genuine words to express feelings to our loved ones. It is important to say I love you while keeping the Chinese culture in mind so that you can use the right phrase to express your feelings.
If you are looking for ways to say I love you in Chinese, remember, there are plenty of words that can be used to express your emotions. Before expressing what you actually feel, you need to know the Chinese culture first.
There is a quick checklist carrying all the prominent phrases that can be used to say I love you in Chinese. Following are some of the terms used to express love and emotions:
- Love: 爱 (ài)
- I love you: 我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ)
- I like you (romantically): 我喜欢你 (wǒ xǐhuan nǐ)
- I miss you: 我想你 (wǒ xiǎng nǐ)
- You are beautiful: 你很美丽。 (nǐ hěn měilì)
- You are handsome: 你好帅！ (nǐ hǎo shuài!)
- “I love u” (Chinese text slang) (五二零, wǔ’èr líng)
- I like being with you: 我喜欢和你在一起。(wǒ xǐhuān hé nǐ zài yīqǐ)
Before going to your partner in order to express your feelings, you need to sit back and make the choice of the right words. Sometimes, we also express our love and gratitude to our friends. The love phrases used for the partner cannot surely be used while expressing love to a friend. This guide will prepare you to connect with your loved ones in the purest form.
Let us start with the word ‘love’, how it is used in Chinese, and its implications.
Saying love in Chinese
爱 (ài) in Chinese is one of the most common ways to express your love interest. It is most widely used to express romantic feelings. But, 爱 (ài) doesn’t necessarily mean romantic love, it can also be used for family love.
The phrase 我喜欢你 (wǒ xǐhuan nǐ) means “I like you” and is used in Chinese to express love to other relations but if it is for the love interest, it actually means ‘I love you’.
Saying “I Love You” in Chinese
As we have discussed earlier, 我喜欢你 (wǒ xǐhuan nǐ) is the most common way to express love in Chinese, and saying 我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ) – “I love you” is not wrong either.
Saying ‘I love you too’ in response to ‘I love you’ is also a common practice. So, if your boyfriend or girlfriend says 我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ) – I love you, you can respond by saying 也爱你 (wǒ yě aì nǐ) that means “I love you too”.
We normally use the words ‘extremely’ or ‘very much’ with I love you. So how are you going to add these words while saying I love you in Chinese? Here are some appropriate ways:
- 非常 (fēicháng) – “very much” or “extremely”
- 那么 (nàme) – “so very much”
- 是如此 (shì rúcǐ) – literally “in that way”, but in this context “so much”.
Saying “My love” in Chinese
The literal translation of ‘my love’ in Chinese is 我的爱人 (wǒ de àirén), which also means “my lover”. While holding a real conversation, you will most probably use the words 亲爱的 (qīn’ài de) which means “beloved” or even “darling/dear”.
Saying “My Baby” in Chinese
Both the words 宝宝 (bǎobǎo) and 宝贝 (bǎobèi) mean “baby” while 宝贝 (bǎobèi) also means “treasure”. It is a common practice to use words like ‘baby’ in a relationship. In Chinese, you can use both the words 宝宝 (bǎobǎo) and 贝贝 (bèibèi) to call your partner ‘baby’.
Saying “My Heart” in Chinese
心肝 (xīngān) means ‘my heart’ in Chinese. This word is normally used for the person whom you cannot live without. Calling someone 心肝 (xīngān) means your survival is difficult without them.
Other common words that can be used for your life partner are 老婆 (lǎopó) and 老公 (lǎogōng) which mean “wifey” and “hubby”, respectively. These are some cute ways to express your love towards your husband or wife.
Saying “I Miss You” in Chinese
We truly believe that telling someone that you miss them is the purest form of expressing emotions. 我想你 (wǒ xiǎng nǐ) means both “I miss you” and “I am thinking of you”. 我想你 (wǒ xiǎng nǐ) can be used to express your emotion when you miss someone’s presence.
If we dig into the literal translation 想 (xiǎng) means “to want”, but the Chinese do not prefer to say ‘I want you’ rather they prefer saying ‘I miss you’ or ‘I am thinking about you’.
Saying “You Are Beautiful” in Chinese
It is essential to keep Chinese tones in mind while calling someone beautiful or handsome. Every culture has its own ways of praising people. While visiting China, you will, most probably, hear sentences like:
- 你好帅！(nǐ hǎo shuài!) – “You’re (so) handsome!”
- 你很迷人！(nǐ hěn mírén!) – “You’re (so) charming!”
- 穿衣服真配你！(chuān yīfú zhēn pèi nǐ!) – “You look great in those clothes!”
These are some common ways to praise people you like or find beautiful. It is a common way to say “you’re beautiful” in order to praise a Chinese woman. Chinese women consider modesty as their biggest treasure so it is appropriate to use indirect techniques to praise their beauty.
For instance, you can try saying:
- 你的眼睛里有故事。(nǐ de yǎnjīngli yǒu gùshì) – literally, “There is a story in your eyes.” But in this context, it’s something along the lines of “Your eyes are so deep, it seems like they tell a thousand stories.” or even “I’m so lost in your eyes.”
- 太阳升起只是为了看到你的微笑。(tàiyáng shēng qǐ zhǐshì wèile kàn dào nǐ de wéixiào) – “The sun rises just to see you smile”.
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Saying “Boyfriend” in Chinese
Just like English, it is a combination of the word “boy” or “male” – 男 (nán) and the word “friend” – 朋友 (péngyǒu). Together they make 男朋友 (nánpéngyǒu) – “boyfriend”. The word used to say husband in Chinese is 丈夫 (zhàngfū) while it is also a common practice to use 对象 (duìxiàng) which means ‘beau’.
Saying “Girlfriend” in Chinese
The word ‘girlfriend’ is also a combination of two words i.e. “girl”– 女 (nǚ) and “friend” – 朋友 (péngyǒu) – 女朋友 (nǚpéngyǒu). While the word for “wife” in Chinese is 妻子 (qīzi).
There are several direct and indirect ways to say I love you in Chinese but using these words can surely make your love confession sweeter. Chinese people believe in showing the authenticity of their emotions. There are several phrases in Chinese, for instance, there are several phrases to say good luck in Chinese. You need to evaluate your situation before selecting a particular phrase for you. If you want to learn more about Chinese culture, Chinese characters, Chinese grammar, pronunciation, or Chinese vocabulary, book a lesson plan with italki today. With the right guidance, you will become fluent in Chinese within no time.