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When to Use Te Amo and Te Quiero in Spanish: A Guide

Have you ever heard Spanish be referred to as "the language of love"? It seems that Spanish language has definitely earned its name as a "Romance Language"!

I mean, have you ever seen a telenovela?

In this article, you'll learn how when to use "Te amo" and "Te quiero" and how to show affection to your family, friends, and lovers in the Language of Love.

an animated couple hugging each other with bold letters that say "Difference between te amo & te quiero"

When to use “Te amo” and “Te quiero”

Te amo is used with more intensity, the type of love you have for your spouse, daughter, or parents.

For example: Once you fall in love with somebody, there might be 2 months where you say te quiero, but a day will come, where you are more comfortable, and then the te amo will come out.

Te quiero is used more for new relationships, or with your parents (depending on your relationship with them) and carries less "intimacy." But it can also be seen as a more "puppy love lovey-dovey" type relationship if you use it years into a relationship.

For example, imagine that you started dating somebody 2 weeks ago, and you “feel something” for them. This is a perfect time to use "Te quiero"!

guide on when to use te amo and te quiero

How to say I love you to your partner

  • I love you so much – Te amo mucho

  • I love you unconditionally – Te amo incondicionalmente

  • I love you more than life itself – Te amo más que a la vida misma

  • I love more than anything in this world – Te amo más que todo en el mundo

  • I love you from the bottom of my heart – Te amo desde el fondo de mi corazón

  • I love you always – Te amo para siempre

  • I love you more than words can express – Te amo más de lo que las palabras pueden expresar

  • You are my everything – Tú eres mi todo

two people that are in love

How to say I love you to someone (without saying "I love you")

  • I have feelings for you – Yo siento algo por ti

  • I adore you – Te adoro

  • I need you – Te necesito

  • I care about you – Me importas

  • You mean so much to me - Me importas mucho

  • I cherish you – Te aprecio

  • I really like you – Me gustas mucho

  • You’re so cute/handsome/beautiful – Tú eres tan tierno/guapo/hermoso-a

  • I love being around you – Me encanta estar cerca de ti

How to ask someone to go out with you

  • ¿Saldrás conmigo? - Will you go out with me?

  • ¿Yo puedo llevarte a este restaurante? - Can I take you out to this restaurant?

  • Me encantaría salir contigo - I’d love to go out with you

  • Me encantaría llevarte a una cita - I’d like to take you out on a date

  • Estoy enamorado de ti desde la primera vez que te ví - I’ve been in love with you since the first time I saw you


Affectionate Nicknames:

  • Cariño – Honey

  • Mi amor – My love

  • Querido/a – Darling

  • Hermoso/a – Beautiful

  • Querido - Beloved

  • Bomboncito - Butter cup

  • Lindo/a - Cutie

  • Guapo/a – Handsome

  • Precioso/a – Gorgeous

  • Bebé – Baby

  • Amor - Sweets

  • Mi Rey/Reina - My King/Queen

  • Mi luz – My light

  • Mi sol – My sun

  • Mi cielo – My sky

  • Mami/Papi – Mommy/Daddy (used mostly in Caribbean countries – Don't be surprised if a stranger calls you one of these, it is just as normal as a lady referring to you as “Dear”)

Vocab (almost only) for children:

  • Mi niño/a – my boy, girl)

  • Nene/a – Honey

  • Corazón – Sweetheart

  • Señorita – Young lady

  • (Mi) Princesita – (My) little princess

  • (Mi) Angelito – (My) little angel

a woman bonding with her child

I hope this article helped you to understand better how you can express your love and affection in Spanish. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns shoot me a message here.

Have a great day and learn a bunch! - Ben


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