Languages › Mandarin How to Say 'Love' in Mandarin Chinese Share Flipboard Email Print Cultura/Matt Dutile / Getty Images Mandarin Vocabulary Mandarin History and Culture Pronunciation Understanding Chinese Characters By Qiu Gui Su Chinese Language Expert Qiu Gui Su is a native Mandarin speaker who has taught Mandarin Chinese for over 20 years. our editorial process Qiu Gui Su Updated March 11, 2019 Love is a central part of life, perhaps even the most important! Expressing love in a foreign language can be difficult and require a good sense of the language, but starting from the word for love itself is a good idea. Character The Chinese character for "love" or "to love" is 愛 in traditional Chinese, but it can also be written as 爱 in simplified Chinese. Traditional Chinese is more commonly used in Taiwan and Hong Kong, whereas simplified Chinese is used in mainland China. The main difference between the two characters is that the simplified version does not have the component, 心. In Chinese, 心 (xīn) means "heart." Thus, a running joke among advocates of traditional Chinese is that there is no "love" in places that use simplified Chinese because the character is stripped of its heart. 愛 / 爱 can be used as a noun or as a verb—to love someone or to love doing something. The character is roughly used in the same manner as the Chinese character 喜欢, which means "like" or "to like." Pronunciation The pinyin for 愛 / 爱 is "ài." The character is pronounced in the 4th tone, and can also be referred to as ai4. Sentence Examples Using Ài Tā ài chàng gē.他愛唱歌｡他爱唱歌｡He loves to sing. Wǒ ài nǐ我愛你我爱你I love you. Zhè shì yīgè àiqíng gùshì.這是一個愛情故事。这是一个爱情故事。This is a love story. Tāmen zài běijīng ài shàngle.他們在北京愛上了。他们在北京爱上了。They fell in love in Beijing.