Love, love! After surfing the internet for some interesting topic ideas, I noticed that many people are looking for information on “ how to say I love you”, in Portuguese!

In fact, the motivation of Portuguese students to learn the language is often related to them having a Portuguese partner.

There are 3 main reasons for studying Portuguese:

1. Professional reasons (for business);
2. Changing of country, for residency purposes.
3. And, of course, love!

Let’s talk a little bit about love in Portuguese and ways of expressing that love.

1. Gostar, adorar e amar

It’s Valentine’s Day! It is on this day that the verb “to love – Amar” is used more often! When we speak in English, we love everything and everyone. However, in Portugal things are different. The word “love” = “amor”, is feared by many people. We use the word “love” more carefully and only in situations for “exceptional” people.

How do you say “I love you” in Portuguese? There are many ways to say that we love / like something in Portuguese, take a read of the following information to find out .

Verb “to like” = “Gostar”

“Gostar” is translated as “to like”. Yet, it is also a way of translating “to love” in many cases.
The verb “to love” is used extensively in English. Often to talk about things we like and don’t actually love.
This means that instead of “I love you” you can use “gosto muito de ti”, which literally means “I like you very much”.


“Adoring” something or someone is a stronger feeling than “gostar” – “to like”.
“Adorar” is translated as “to adore”. It is not a verb widely used in English, however, in
Portuguese it is. It is stronger than “gostar” and less strong than “to love”- “amar”.The Portuguese start with “gostar” – “to like”, then we use “adorar” and finally “amar” – “to love” someone or something.

“Amar” – “to love”

Finally, the verb “Amar”. “Amar” has the exact translation of “to love”. It is used by the Portuguese when they really love/are in love with someone or something. How to say “I love you” in Portuguese?
It depends on whether we are talking about European Portuguese or Brazilian Portuguese. In European Portuguese you would say “amo-te” and in Brazilian Portuguese you would say “te amo”. This is a pure example of one of several grammatical differences between these two ways of using the Portuguese language.

And what is the Portuguese word for “amor” – “love”? The answer is very easy: “love”. It is almost the same as the verb (with a different letter: “amar” / “amor”).

I love you in portuguese lisbon language café

2. Impress your love in Portuguese!

Surprise your partner with a declaration of love in Portuguese! Think about the reaction and face expression of your lover, when you hear them talk about their passion in Portuguese. Do you feel ready to learn? So let’s start!

1. “Amo-te”.

The most common form of saying “I love you” in Portuguese. It is used only between couples. It is not very common among friends or family. It is usually not used on a first date. If someone says,  “Amo-te / I love you” you can respond “também te amo / I love you too” or … “EU não te amo / I do not love you.”

2. “Gosto muito de ti”.

It is a less intense way of saying, “I love you!” Widely used amongst couples and also amongst friends and family. Some people feel more comfortable and less committed with this phrase. It is also very often used in the early stages of a love relationship.

3. “Adoro-te”.

This is an all-round, safe and reasonably average way to express how much you like someone or something. Stronger than “I like you” and less intense than “I love you”. Used by couples, friends and family. It is very commonly used in the early stages of relationships.

4. “Queres namorar comigo”?

In English the equivalent is: ‘will you go out with me?’. If the answer is “yes”, then it means that these two people are starting a loving relationship. If the answer is “no”, maybe the other person wants only a relationship without commitment.

5. “Estou apaixonado por ti”

In the initial phase of a relationship comes the passion!  This is a phrase used by lovers in these first days (or weeks … or months …) where we feel butterflies in the belly. In English the translation is: “I am in love with you!”

6. “Tu completas-me”

This phrase conveys the idea of unity: the two people together form one unit and each person’s love is necessary to create one unit of love. It is a phrase that characterizes the passion phase! “You make me feel complete”/ “You complete me” are fairly good and accurate ways of translating this Portuguese phrase.


It is a phrase that conveys the idea of unconditional love and passion. Whoever says this sentence assumes that their partner is the most important person in their life. It is a Portuguese phrase of great intensity! “You are my world” is the direct translation of this sentence.


When the Portuguese feel that their partner is the right person and is a unique and irreplaceable person, then this is the phrase they often use. The phrase gives the idea of a unique and irreducible event in life. It is a very strong phrase that very clearly conveys the feeling of pure love.


Eu amo-te — I love you
Eu adoro-te — I adore you
Eu quero-te –— I want you
Tu fazes-me feliz — You make me happy
Eu quero ver-te feliz! — I want to see you happy
Eu preciso de ti – I need you
Eu amo-te todos os dias – I love you every day
Tu completas-me — You make me feel complete
Eu só quero amar-te —I just want to love you
Tu és tudo para mim — You are everything to me
Quando estou contigo estou nos braços da paz – I feel at peace, when I’m in your arms
Tu iluminas a minha vida — You light up my life
Ao teu lado, ando de olhos fechados — Beside you I can walk with my eyes closed
Gosto muito de ti — I like you very much
Eu amo-te tanto — I love you so much
Eu não consigo de parar de pensar em ti — I can’t stop thinking of you
Hoje já te disse que te amo muito? — Have I told you that I love you today?
Vou amar-te para sempre! — I will love you forever
Estou apaixonado por ti – I am in love with you
Roubaste o meu coração! — You have stolen my heart
Tu és a razão da minha vida — You are the reason I live
Sem ti não sou nada! — I am nothing without you.
Vou amar-te até ao fim da minha vida — I will love you until the end of my life.
Não posso viver sem ti! — I can’t live without you
Amar como eu te amo, só uma vez na vida! — Loving, as I love you, comes/happens just once in a lifetime!
Quero que faças parte da minha vida — I want you to be part of my life!

4-How To Call Your Partner in Portuguese

Let’s now tell you the words or phrases that we use to speak about/to our special one.


It is a very affectionate expression and widely used by Portuguese couples.


The word sweet means “sweet”. It is equivalent to the English expression “sweetie” in English. Use this  expression often, with your lover, and you will see that the relationship will get even better!


I personally find this word very cute. It literally means “heart” and it is an expression that expresses great affection.


This is a “slang” way to express your love. A very cute way of referring to your
loved one. If you use it, you will obtain smiles and laughs in return. “Xuxu” is more Brazilian Portuguese than European Portuguese. It is used in a caring and funny way.


As you probably already know, “bebé” means “baby”. We use much less than English speakers do. In Portuguese it sounds, in my opinion, a bit ridiculous… Yet, it does sound sweet too!

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Article Name
How to say "I love you" in European Portuguese
The Portuguese and Brazilians are not afraid to show their emotions to their partner.