French Love Language: L'Amour et l'Amitié

Express yourself in the language of love

Romance in Paris
AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

If French is the language of love, what better language is there with which to express your love? Here are some key French words and phrases related to love, friendship, and special occasions. Click on the link to hear the word or phrase pronounced.

Love at first sightle coup de foudre
friendship amitié
I love you Je t'aime
I love you tooMoi aussi, je t'aime
I adore youJe t'adore
Will you marry me?Veux-tu m'épouser?
to kissembrasser
to french kissgalocher (learn more)
to datesortir avec
to fall in love (with)tomber amoureux (de) (not "tomber en amour")
to get engagedse fiancer à (or avec)
to get marriedse marier avec


engagementles fiançailles
marriage  le mariage
weddingles nocesle mariage
wedding anniversaryl'anniversaire de mariage
honeymoonla lune de miel 


St. Valentine's Day (card)(une carte dela Saint-Valentin
present un cadeau
flowers  des fleurs
candydes bonbons
clothesdes vêtements
perfumedu parfum
jewelrydes bijoux
engagement ring  une bague de fiançailles
wedding ring une alliance


husbandun mariun époux
wifeune femmeune épouse
fiance un fiancéune fiancée*
loverun amantune amante
boyfriendun copain
girlfriendune copine
friendun amiune amie*
dear, sweetheartchérichérie*

* Same pronunciation for masculine and feminine version.

French Terms of Endearment (Termes d'Affection)

French has all kinds of interesting terms of endearment, including a rather odd assortment of barnyard animals.

Check out this list of French terms of endearment to use with your loved ones (both romantic and familial). For the most part, these all mean something along the lines of "sweetie," "darling," or "poppet," so we've provided the literal translations as well as a few notes (in parentheses).

My lovemon amour 
My angelmon ange    
My babymon bébé  
My beautiful (informal)ma belle    
My dearmon cherma chère    
My deariemon chérima chérie    
My cutiemon mignon 
My Halfma moitié 
My little guy / girlmon petit / ma petite
My dollma poupée
My heartmon cœur
My little girl (informal, old-fashioned)ma fifille    
My big guy / girlmon grand / ma grande    
My Jesus (when talking to a child)mon jésus    
My treasuremon trésor
My (fruit) core (when talking to a child)mon trognon  

Ma mie literally "my female friend," but used to mean "my dear/love."

This is a somewhat old-fashioned term contracted from mon amie > m'amie > ma mie. Note that mie also refers to the soft part of bread — the opposite of the crust.

Affectionate French Terms Related to Animals

Learn some playful French word for your loved ones.

My doema biche
My little doema bichette
My quail (informal)ma caille
My duckmon canard
My kittenmon chaton
My cat (familiar)ma chatte 
My pigmon cochon 
My eggmon coco
My hen (informal)ma cocotte  
My rabbitmon lapin
My otterma loutre
My wolfmon loup 
My pussycat (informal)mon mimi  
My pussycatmon minet / ma minette
My kittymon minou
My henma poule
My chickenmon poulet
My pullet (informal)ma poulette
My chick (informal)mon poussin
My flea (informal)ma puce

Love Words Related to Food

My cabbage, my pastry (informal)mon chou
My favorite, blue-eyed boy/girl, pet* (informal)mon chouchou  
My dropping (also refers to a small, round goat cheese)ma crotte
My barley sugarmon sucre d'orge

*as in "teacher's pet"  

Notes About Modifiers

  • The word petit (little) can be added in front of most of these: mon petit chouma petite chatte, etc.
  • The phrase en sucre (made of sugar) can be added to the end of some: mon trésor en sucremon cœur en sucre, etc.

    Note that the possessive adjectives mon and ma (my) have to agree with the gender of the term of endearment—not your own gender nor necessarily that of the person you're talking to/about. Generally speaking, masculine terms of endearment can be used for men and women, while feminine terms of endearment can only be used for women.

    Perfect Your Pronunciation: How to Say "I Love You" in French

    They say that French is the language of love, so you'd better know how to say I love you! These step-by-step instructions will teach you how to say I love you in French.

    Here's How

    1. Find the person you love.
    2. Say his or her name.
    3. Say je t'aime:
      • j in je is pronounced [zh] like the g in mirage
      • e is pronounced like the oo in good
      • t'aime is pronounced [tem] to rhyme with them.
    4. Optional: Follow with "my darling":
      • To a woman = ma chérie, pronounced [ma shay ree].
      • To a man = mon chéri, pronounced [mo(n) shay ree]. The (n) is nasal.
      • You can also choose a different French term of endearment
    1. Optional: To respond to someone who says "I love you," say Moi aussi, je t'aime (I love you too).
      • moi is pronounced "mwa."
      • aussi is pronounced "oh see."
    2. You can listen to sound files of these terms on my page of French love language

    What You Need

    • A few minutes of practice
    • A romantic location
    • Your beloved
    • (optional) candles, flowers, bonbons, soft music, an engagement ring...

    English Expressions Using "Love"

    The English word "love" is found in many different expressions. Here's how to translate these phrases into French.

    love affair (literal)une liaison
    love affair (figurative)une passion
    love at first sightle coup de foudre
    love childun enfant d'amour
    un enfant illégitime
    un enfant naturel
    love feastune agape
    un banquet
    love game (tennis)un jeu blanc
    love handlespoignées d'amour
    love-hate relationshipun rapport amour-haine
    love-in-a-mist (plant)la nigelle de Damas
    love-knotles lacs d'amour
    love letterune lettre d'amour
    un billet-doux
    love-lies-bleeding (plant)amarante queue-de-renard
    love lifela vie amoureuse
    ses amours
    love matchun mariage d'amour
    love nestun nid d'amour
    un nid d'amoureux
    love of one's lifele grand amour
    love potionun philtre d'amour
    love sceneune scène d'amour
    love seatune causeuse
    love storyune histoire d'amour
    love (in tennis)zéro, rien
    love tokenun gage d'amour
    love triangleun triangle amoureux
    loved onesêtres chers
    lovestrucképerdument amoureux
    brotherly loveamour fraternel
    casual love affairun amour de rencontre
    courtly loveamour courtois
    declaration of loveune déclaration d'amour
    first loveson premier amour
    free loveamour libre
    in love (with)amoureux (de)
    labor of loveune tâche accomplie pour le plaisir
    madly in lovefou d'amour
    my love (term of endearment)mon amour
    physical loveamour physique
    platonic loveamour platonique
    puppy loveamour juvénile
    true lovele grand amour
    for the love of Godpour l'amour de Dieu
    He loves me, he loves me notIl m'aime un peu, beaucoup, passionnément,
    à la folie, pas du tout
    How's your love life?Comment vont tes amours ?
    I'd love to!Avec plaisir !
    Volontiers !
    It can't be had for love nor money.C'est introuvable.
    On ne peut se le procurer à aucun prix.
    Lucky at cards, unlucky in loveHeureux au jeu, malheureux en amour
    not for love nor money
    I wouldn't do it for love nor money.
    pour rien au monde
    Je ne le ferais pour rien au monde.
    Someone up there loves me.C'est mon jour de veine.
    There's no love lost between them.Entre eux, ce n'est pas le grand amour.
    Ils ne peuvent pas se sentir.
    to do something for the love of itfaire qqchose pour l'amour de l'art
    to do something out of love forfaire qqchose par l'amour pour
    to do something with loving carefaire qqchose avec amour
    to fall in love (with)tomber amoureux (de)
    to live on love alonevivre / se nourrir d'amour et d'eau fraîche
    to loveaimer
    to make lovefaire l'amour