I love you in French, “Je t’aime.”
According to Google, the French love phrase “Je t’aime” (I love you) is the most requested translation in French right after “bonjour” (hello).
Why is je t’aime so popular?
Your guess is as good as mine, but I think it’s because “Je t’aime” is one of the simplest and surest ways to profess your love to someone in French. A language that not only sounds beautiful but has long been associated with romance and idealized as the language of love.
But using “Je t’aime” to express you love someone romantically can be tricky. For example, adding certain adverbs to this phrase can change the meaning of “Je t’aime” altogether from I love you to I like you.
Here are 13 French phrases that use the classic love phrase “Je t’aime.”
1. I LOVE YOU
Je t’aime: /zhuh-tem/
How to pronounce Je t’aime
To properly say “Je” (I) in French, you have to say it using a sound that doesn’t really exist (that I know of) in the English language.
The incorrect way: Je is not pronounced with a hard “J” like in the words Jagger or jump.
The correct way:: Je is pronounced with a soft “J” like in the following words: Beijing, Jacques Cousteau and Zsa Zsa Gábor.
The dual meaning of Aimer: Like and love
It’s easy to differentiate between love and like in English because there are two different verbs for these two sentiments.
In French, however, there is only one verb, “AIMER,” which can mean both LIKE and LOVE, depending on how you construct the French phrase and the context, which we’ll go over in my examples below.
2. I like you very much
Je t’aime beaucoup: or Je t’aime bien /zhuh-tem boo-coo/ or /zhuh-tem bee-yen/
Je t’aime beaucoup and Je t’aime bien DO NOT MEAN I love you very much (all the time.)
This one is tricky, so pay attention.
You already know that the French word “BEAUCOUP” means “a lot” or “very much,” and bien means “good” or “well,” so shouldn’t “je t’aime beaucoup” and he t’aime bien mean “I love you very much” or something similar?
Adding an adverb changes the meaning of Aimer from love to like
For example, these two phrases mean I like you a lot or very much.
- Je t’aime bien:
- If you add the adverb “bien,” which means good or well, the phrase no longer means you love someone, but rather you like them “Je t’aime bien.”
- Je t’aime beaucoup:
- If you add the adverb “beaucoup” to the phrase “I love you” and tell someone you’re romantically involved with “je t’aime beaucoup,” you’re actually telling them ‘” I like you a lot,” not “I love you very much.”
These two phrases are mainly used between friends with whom you share a close or affectionate relationship.
Here’s the exception.
- If you tell a family member (brother, sister, parents) “je t’aime beaucoup,” you’re telling them you love them very much.
- If you tell someone you’re romantically involved with (husband, girlfriend, boyfriend,) Je t’aime beaucoup; you’re actually saying I like you very much:
You might be interested to learn that.
The best way to say I love you is to say “Je t’aime” however if you want to express to someone you love them a lot, use the following French love phrases.
3. I love you strongly, or I love you very much
Je t’aime très fort: /zhuh-tem tray-fore/
As I mentioned in the example above, if you want to tell someone you’re romantically involved with that you love them very much, don’t say “je t’aime beaucoup” or “je t’aime bien. Instead, say “je t’aime très fort.”
“Très fort” literally means very strong, and when you tack it on to the end of the phrase (Je t’aime), as in “Je t’aime très fort,” it means: “I love you very strongly,” but can also translate to I love you so much, I love you very much, I really love you.
4. I love you like crazy
Je t’aime à la folie: /zhuh-tem-ah-law-foe-lee/
“La folie” literally means madness, so when you say “Je t’aime a la folie,” you’re saying you love them like crazy, madly or insanely.
5. I love you to death
je t’aime a mourir: /zhuh-tem-ah-moo-rear/
“Mourir” is the verb “To die,” so ” je t’aime a mourir” means you love someone to death.
6. I love you with all my heart
Je t’aime de tout mon Coeur: /zhuh-tem-duh-too-moan-kur/
A cute way to tell someone you love them is to say “je t’aime avec tout mon coeur, which means I love you with all my heart.
7. I love you without limits
Je t’aime d’un amour sans limited: /zhuh-tem-dun-ah-moor-san-limit/
If your love for someone is infinite, add “sans limit” to “je t’aime.” You can translate “Je t’aime sans limite” several ways, including…I love you without limits; my love is limitless, my love is boundless, or my love for you knows no limits.
8. I love you to the moon and back
Je t’aime jusqu’à la lune et le retour: /zhuh-tem-zhuska-lah-lune-ay-luh-ruh-tour/
No one is sure of the origins of this hyperbolic expression “I love you to the moon and back,” which uses the moon’s celestial feat and distance to dramatize the level to which you love someone. This is not a common French phrase, by the way.
9. I’ll love you forever and always
Je t’aime pour toujours et a jamais: /zhuh-tem-poor-too-zhure-ay-zha-may/
“Pour toujour” (forever or for always)
Idiomatically speaking, there are a couple of ways to translate this dramatic French love phrase. I’ll love you forever and always, or I’ll love you forever and ever.
But literally, this phrase means “I’ll love you for always and never.”
10. I love you more than anyone has ever loved
Je t’aime comme personne n’a jamais aimé: /zhuh-tem-come-pair-son-nah-zhamay-em-ay/
Go full-on knots landing on your crush and tell them you love them as no-one has ever been loved before.
11. I love you more than life
Je t’aime plus que la vie: /zhuh-tem-ploos-kuh-la-vee/
A very intimate way to tell someone you love them.
12. I’ll love you for eternité
je t’aime pour l’éternité: /zhuh-tem-poor-lay-tear-knee-tay/
If the mood strikes, try telling him or her you’ll love them for eternity.
13. I’ll love you until my last breath or dying breath
Je t’aimerai jusqu’à mon dernier souffle: /zhe-tem-err-ay-zhewss-ka-moan-dare-nyair-soofluh/
Straight out of a Tella Novella, I’ll love you until my last breath will get your point across pretty fast.
13 ways to say I love you in French (infographic)
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