Have you found yourself a Portuguese or Brazilian lover? There are different ways to say ‘I love you‘ in Portuguese. There are even levels to communicate the intensity of your feelings! On top of that, love comes in many shapes and forms, so there are more appropriate variations depending on who you’re talking to.
Whatever brought you here, today we’ll be covering all the ways you can tell someone you love them in Portuguese. We’ll also be letting you in on a romantic phrase or two and some basic, yet useful Portuguese love vocabulary.
Let’s get on with it, then!
Saying “I like you” vs. “I love you” in Portuguese
In English, you’ll notice that the verb ‘to love’ is used quite liberally. Some people might say they love their parents, but also the mountains or pasta… In Portuguese, we’re not so liberal with that verb, especially when it comes to people. So, it is important that you learn to make the distinction.
First things first, let’s learn how to say the basics:
- Amo-te – I love you
- Gosto de ti – I like you (romantically)
- Adoro-te – I like you a lot (not necessarily romantically)
The verb ‘amar‘, meaning ‘to love‘, is pretty self-explanatory – it’s the most intense out of the three. It wouldn’t be wrong for you to say you love soccer, for example, just as long as you felt that strongly about it.
The verb ‘gostar‘ means ‘to like‘, and when you say it directly to someone, they might get the feeling that you are romantically interested… However, if you tell your friend ‘I really like my neighbor‘, it won’t necessarily come across as strong; it just means your neighbor is a likable person, that’s all.
Now, up until a few years ago, a lot of people – especially older folks – weren’t a big fan of the verb ‘adorar‘ as it should only be used in a religious connotation (as ‘to adore’, meaning worship). But nowadays things aren’t as PC, so you can conjugate the verb in a way to say you really like someone or something. Personally, I absolutely adore pasta! But that doesn’t mean I have a dedicated altar for worship at home. (And then again, maybe I do… It’s called a ‘pantry’ and it’s full of pasta.)
Adding on to your love in Portuguese
If you’re absolutely sure that you’re trying to convey love in a romantic form, you’re ready to learn how to add on to it. Below are a few phrases that will help you make that ‘amo-te‘ a whole lot sweeter:
- Amo-te muito – I really love you / I love you a lot
- Amar-te-ei para sempre – I’ll always love you
- Amo-te tanto – I love you so much
- Amo-te mais todos os dias – I love you more each day
- Amo-te mais – I love you more
And you don’t necessarily have to use the ‘L’ word or verb every time. Here’s how to say ‘you’re crazy about someone‘ instead – and of course, it will vary a tiny bit depending on the gender of the speaker, like with all Latin languages:
- Sou louca por ti! – I’m crazy about you (female speaker)
- Sou louco por ti! – I’m crazy about you (male speaker)
Phrases related to falling in love
Usually, leading up to that ‘I love you’, there will be a period of simply falling for someone – but the same metaphor doesn’t really work in Portuguese.
Instead, we use an expression that would better be translated to ‘being enamored’. More than that, the expression actually includes the word ‘passion’, so there are no doubts about what we’re referring to. Let’s check it out:
- Estou a apaixonar-me por ti. – I’m falling in love with you.
- Estou apaixonada por ti. – I’m in love with you (female speaker)
- Estou apaixonado por ti! – I’m in love with you (male speaker)
So, depending on the intensity of the feeling, and what stage you’re at, you’ll be able to communicate your feelings without any misunderstanding.
Other sweet nothings in Portuguese
We don’t always have to show affection in the same tired, boring ways. Sometimes, we feel like spicing it up, taking it down a notch, or sweetening up the mood. Below are a couple of other expressions that will surely make your lover’s heart flutter:
- Sou tua. – I’m yours (female speaker)
- Sou teu. – I’m yours (male speaker)
- Completas-me. – You complete me.
- Tenho saudades tuas. – I miss you.
- Não consigo parar de pensar em ti. – I can’t stop thinking about you.
- Casas-te comigo? – Will you marry me?
Portuguese love vocabulary
Although there are plenty of ways and contexts in which we can talk about love, here are some of the most frequently used words:
- amor – love
- encontro – date
- namorado – boyfriend
- namorada – girlfriend
- beijo – kiss
- rosa – rose
- coração – heart
- anel – ring
- noivado – engagement
- anel de noivado – engament ring
- noivo – groom / fiancé
- noiva – bride / fiancée
- casamento – wedding / marriage
- alma gémea – soulmate
- amor proíbido – forbidden love
- primeiro amor – first love
- amor de infância – childhood love
- amante – lover
- história de amor – love story
- amor-próprio – self-love
- vida amorosa – love life
- amor à primeira vista – love at first sight
- amor da minha vida – love of my life
Portuguese idioms, proverbs, or sayings about love
Every country will have its set of idioms and sayings that have been passed down throughout generations. We’ve compiled a list of a few interesting/funny/commonly used ones just for you. Some are a bit cringier than others, so please bear with us…
- O amor é cego. – Love is blind.
- Azar no jogo, sorte no amor. – Unlucky in games, lucky with love.
- Amor é fogo que arde sem se ver. – Love is the fire that burns beyond sight.
- Amor com amor se paga. – You pay love with love.
- A chaga do amor, quem a faz, a sara. – A love wound, whoever causes it, heals it.
- O amor tudo vence. – Love conquers all.
“I love you” and other expressions in Brazilian Portuguese
Although most of the words and phrases we’ve been seeing throughout this article work for both strands of the language, some expressions will vary slightly when saying it in Brazilian Portuguese.
So, if you care to pay attention to those details, take note of the following:
- Amo-te / Te amo. – I love you
- Gosto de ti / Gosto de você. – I like you (romantically)
- Adoro-te / Te adoro. – I like you a lot (not necessarily romantically)
- Amo-te muito / Te amo muito. – I really love you / I love you a lot
- Amo-te mais / Te amo mais. – I love you more
- Amar-te-ei para sempre / Te amarei para sempre. – I’ll always love you
- Sou louca por ti! / Sou louca por você. – I’m crazy about you (female speaker)
- Sou louco por ti! / Sou louco por você. – I’m crazy about you (male speaker)
- Estou apaixonada por ti. / Estou apaixonada por você.– I’m in love with you (female speaker)
- Estou apaixonado por ti! / Estou apaixonado por você. – I’m in love with you (male speaker)
- Sou tua. / Sou sua. – I’m yours (female speaker)
- Sou teu. / Sou seu. – I’m yours (male speaker)
- Tenho saudades tuas. / Tenho saudades suas. – I miss you.
- Casas-te comigo? / Se casa comigo? – Will you marry me?
- Completas-me. / Você me completa. – You complete me.
- Você é o mundo para mim. – You mean the world to me.
- Não consigo parar de pensar em ti. / Não consigo parar de pensar em você. – I can’t stop thinking about you.
Portuguese terms of endearment
To finalize our post today, we’ll leave you with a handful of Portuguese terms of endearment that are commonly used both in Portugal and Brazil, as well as in other Portuguese speaking countries:
- amor – love
- bebé – baby
- querido/a – dear
- meu bem – my darling
- minha vida – my life
Hopefully, you’ve learned just about enough to be able to say ‘I love you’ and further declare your love in Portuguese. If you haven’t already, impress your loved one by learning how to say hello in Portuguese, how to thank a person, how to say sorry, or wish someone a happy birthday in Portuguese!
And if you happen to be curious about Portuguese or Brazilian culture, then I recommend you give these a read as well: