I love you! Love has so many different ways, so how do you say “I love you” in German? Of course, you could just look it up in the dictionary, but as a native speaker, and can share the secret with you that we Germans have multiple ways to say those magic three words that make everyone’s heart tingle. So let’s start with the most straightforward saying, ‘I love you’ to express those lovely feelings. ‘Ich liebe dich’ is the traditional way to say ‘I love you’ in German. It’s appropriate to use it for serious, long-term relationships but also with family and friends. If the sentiment is mutual, you can say ‘Ich liebe dich auch’ (I love you too)’ by adding auch (‘also / too’) to the end of the phrase.
It is important to make some clear distinctions in the language regarding the kind of love you are referring to. Let’s go through some different ways to say I love you in German.
This means I am in love with you, or I have fallen in love with you. These are genuine words of affection, which is quite like the pre-step of using the L-word, but a little less serious as dropping the bomb right away.
It means something like ‘Love ya.’This one is adorable. It’s like a kind of puppy love. Kids use it a lot when they express their love to a friend or family member, and it’s commonly used amongst close friends.
The most accurate translation to English for this one is probably ‘I am head over heels in love.’ When you’ve totally lost your marbles over somebody, this is the way to tell your friends when you’ve met the potential special one.
‘You are my everything,’ or ‘you mean the world to me’ is very romantic, almost cheesy. It’s not really used much in conversation, and it’s instead found on Valentine’s card.
Cool cats say, ‘I’m into you.’ If the relationship is still in its early days and if only love weren’t so scary, instead of saying ‘Ich habe mich in dich verliebt,’ which is pretty bold and the pre-phase of Ich liebe Dich; you could rather play it cool with the phrase ‘Ich steh’ auf dich,’ which means, harmlessly, ‘I’m into you.’ To be fair it’s more German high school talk and first love anxiety related. Adults wouldn’t really say that to one another.
You are the love of my life. Now, who doesn’t wanna hear that?! This phrase is, without doubt, the most romantic and most committing one to say to your partner. If you hear that, you know the wedding bells are ringing.
lieben is the verb “to love” in the German language. The direct object—that is, the person you love—takes the accusative case.
Ich liebe meinen Mann / meine Frau. (I love my husband / my wife.)
Therefore, the way to say “I love you” in German is friendly and straightforward, as we previously said:
“Du liebst mich!?” (“You love me!?”)
“Ja ich liebe dich.” (“Yes I love you.”)
“Ich liebe dich auch.” (“I love you, too.”)
This would be a typical acknowledgment and expression of a couple in love.
Ich hab’ dich Lieb. (I love you – in a puppy way.)
Interestingly enough, this particular phrase is always said with the contraction hab’ instead of the entire word habe. This way, it feels that this is lighter and not so serious, as mentioned earlier.
Ich mag dich sehr. (I like you very much.)
It’s not too intense but rather slowly checking out on what’s happening. It can be used amongst new, more intensified acquaintances but also if you want to take the friendship to the next level.
Glück in der Liebe (Luck in love)
To have luck in love – isn’t that something we all wish for. If you go to see a psychic to ask about your future romantic life, this is what she might tell you.
Love has many ways, and it doesn’t always require speaking out the words to show love or to feel loved. Our German language likes to play around with the ways the love goes. Here are some examples of expressions of love:
Please pay special attention to tiny gestures, and they sometimes speak louder than words. To give flowers to a lover or if you like someone, or make them breakfast in bed, going to the movies watching a romantic comedy with your girl or guy when you’re usually moving into action movies, looks, hugs, and smiles… all of these are symbols of love and romance to say ‘du gefällst mir (I like you), that can turn into love.
Humanity has gotten highly poetic over thousands of years, explaining love. As flowery as some of this writing can be, it just scratches the surface. Literally, friends, pets, romantic lovers, even flowers – they all symbolize love. Love language is to find everywhere in different forms in all the languages. If you are interested in learning how to say ‘I love you’ in other languages as well, or maybe you want to improve your German language skills, the best way I say is to learn with the Readle App. Try it out today. You can practice reading, listening, and understanding. Learning new vocabulary and expressions is fun with the app! Even the grammar gets entertained by an engaging quiz and much more. What are you waiting for!? Sign up today, and don’t forget, you are loved!