Saying “I love you” in Portuguese is not just a phrase; it holds a special meaning. For me, it is the language in which I expressed my wedding vows. Whether you are planning to travel to a Portuguese-speaking country or have already found a Portuguese-speaking lover, it is essential to know how to express your love in Portuguese. Here are some words and phrases that will ensure you are never unsure how to say “I love you” in Portuguese.
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“Love” in Portuguese
“Love” in Portuguese is “amor,” a masculine noun. It is similar to the English word “amorous.” To express your affection to someone, you can say “você é o amor da minha vida,” which means “you are the love of my life.” You can also use phrases like “com amor” (with love) or “amor verdadeiro” (true love). Additionally, “fazer amor” means “to make love.” Start your day by greeting your Portuguese-speaking lover with “bom dia, meu amor,” which translates to “Good morning, my love” in Portuguese.
“To love” in Portuguese
In Portuguese, the verb “to love” is “amar,” and its conjugations are as follows:
- eu amo – “I love”
- tu amas – “you love” (informal in Portugal, not used in Brazil)
- você ama – “you love” (formal in Portugal, used in all situations in Brazil)
- ele/ela ama – “he/she loves”
- nós amamos – “we love”
- vocês amam – “you (plural) love”
- eles/elas amam – “they love”
The archaic form “vós amais” is worth knowing, although it is rarely used in speech nowadays. It may appear in old-fashioned writing.
With “amar” in your arsenal, you can learn this essential phrase:
“I love you” in Portuguese
To say “I love you” in Brazilian Portuguese, simply say “eu te amo.” Alternatively, you can drop the “eu” (which means “I”) as it is optional: “te amo.” Portuguese people tend to use a different word order from Brazilians, especially when it comes to pronouns. While “te amo” is still acceptable in Portugal, “amo-te” can also be used. Brazilians rarely use “amo-te,” except in very formal writing. To respond to “te amo” or “amo-te” with “I love you too,” you can say “te amo/amo-te também” or simply “eu também.” If you want to express stronger feelings, say “te amo muito,” which means “I love you a lot.” If you want to emphasize your love, use “te amo muitíssimo,” which translates to “I love you so much” in Portuguese. Lastly, to express being in love with someone, say “estou apaixonado por você” if you are male or “estou apaixonada por você” if you are female.
“Beautiful” in Portuguese
In Portuguese, there are a few ways to describe someone as beautiful. You can use the words “bonito” (for men) or “bonita” (for women), which roughly translates to “pretty” in English. A stronger word for beautiful is “lindo” or “linda.” The noun “lindeza” means “beauty.” Another word, “gostoso” or “gostosa,” literally means “tasty” but is commonly used in Brazil to convey someone’s attractiveness. If you think someone is hot, you can call them “gostoso.” The word “sexy” is also used in Portuguese with the same meaning. Lastly, there is the word “tesudo” or “tesuda,” which doesn’t have a direct translation but implies sexual desire. However, note that “tesudo/a” is a rather suggestive word, so use it with caution.
“Cute” in Portuguese
To describe something as cute in Portuguese, use the word “fofo” or “fofa.” It can be used to describe people, animals, children, or anything that makes you go “awwwwwww.”
“I miss you” in Portuguese
There is a famous word in Portuguese that has no direct translation in English – “saudade.” It refers to a deep longing or yearning for something or someone you miss. To tell someone you miss them in Portuguese, say “eu estou com saudades de você,” which means “I have (lit: am with) saudades for you!”
“Heart” in Portuguese
“Heart” in Portuguese is “coração.” Pronounce the “-ão” ending with a nasal sound, which can be challenging for learners of Portuguese. Like in English and most languages, Portuguese has many expressions related to the heart. A warm and generous person is said to have a “grande coração” (big heart) or even a “coração de ouro” (heart of gold). If you want to win someone’s affection, you can try to “ganhar o coração” (win their heart). However, if your attempts are unsuccessful, you may end up with a “coração partido” (broken heart). You can also express the significance of something by saying “do fundo do meu coração,” meaning “from the bottom of my heart.”
“Sweetheart” in Portuguese
Portuguese has several terms of endearment, cute and affectionate names to call your loved one, similar to “sweetheart” or “darling” in English. One common term of endearment is “querido” (to a man) or “querida” (to a woman), which translates to “desired.” It is equivalent to the English word “sweetheart” and is often used by husbands and wives. Another term of endearment is “bem.” If you prefer simplicity, you can address your loved one as “amor,” which means “love.”
“Boyfriend/girlfriend” in Portuguese
Your “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” in Portuguese is your “namorado” or “namorada.” To remember it, think of the English word “enamoured.” In the early stages of your relationship, you might say that you’re “saindo com” (going out with) the other person. Once things get more serious and they become your official “namorado” or “namorada,” you can say that you’re “namorando com” (with) them.
“Fiancé/fiancée” in Portuguese
If you are ready to propose to your “namorada,” get down on one knee and ask “você quer casar comigo?” which means “will you marry me?” Hopefully, they will say yes, and you will become “noivos” (fiancés/engaged). Be careful not to confuse the Portuguese words “noivo” and “noiva” with their Spanish counterparts, as they have slightly different meanings. On the day of the wedding (“casamento”), the terms “noiva” and “noivo” are still used to refer to the bride and groom. Portuguese does not have separate words for “bride” and “groom” like English does.
“Husband/wife” in Portuguese
Once you are married (“casado”), you can refer to your spouse as “marido” (husband) or “esposa” (wife). These words are the same as in Spanish, so there are no false friends to confuse you. Congratulations on your marriage!
“Love” in Portuguese is a Beautiful Thing
As the Beatles sang, “tudo o que você precisa é de amor,” which means “all you need is love.” Hopefully, I have provided you with all the words you need to express your love to that special someone. Learning another language is a fantastic way to expand your dating opportunities. If you want to learn more about different topics and gain knowledge in the “5 WS” (Who? What? When? Where? Why?), visit 5 WS.