Love has so many different ways, and you can describe it in many words. In various languages, there are numerous phrases for expressing your feelings, whether to your partner, friend, or family.
How do you say “I love you” in German? Of course, you could just look it up in the dictionary – but what if you want to go deeper into the language? There are many German words you can use, including “Ich liebe dich” (I love you), “Ich habe dich gerne” (I care for you), or “Ich bete dich an” (I adore you) – you just need to know which to use when and how.
Today, let’s discover the secret about saying those magic three words in such a way that your loved one’s heart will tingle. And let us prove to you that German can very much be called the most romantic language.
I Love You in German – Love Is Love
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.
Ich liebe dich
Let’s start with the most straightforward way of expressing your love. “Ich liebe dich” is the traditional way to say “I love you” in German. It’s appropriate to use it in serious, long-term relationships as well as 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.
Ich bin in dich verliebt or Ich habe mich in dich verliebt
This phrase 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 saying “I love you” right away.
Ich habe dich lieb/Ich hab’ dich lieb
It means something like “Love ya.” This phrase 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.
Ich bin bis über beide Ohren verliebt
The most accurate English translation 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 that you’ve met the potential special one.
Du bist mein Ein und Alles
“You are my everything,” or “You mean the world to me” is very romantic, almost cheesy. It’s not really used much in conversation, but it can often be found on Valentine’s cards.
Ich steh’ auf dich
Cool cats say, “I’m into you.” If the relationship is still in its early days, 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 phrase. Adults wouldn’t really say that to one another.
Du bist die Liebe meines Lebens
“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.
I Love You in German – German Verbs Related to Love
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 pretty straightforward, as we previously said:
- “Liebst du mich?” (“Do you love me?”)
- “Ja ich liebe dich.” (“Yes I love you.”)
- “Ich liebe dich auch.” (“I love you, too.”)
This would be a typical way to acknowledge and express love between romantic partners.
- 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 lighter and not too serious.
- Ich mag dich sehr. (I like you very much.)
This phrase is not too intense – it’s rather a way of slowly checking out what’s happening. It can be used amongst new, more intensified acquaintances but also if you want to take your friendship with someone 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.
I Love You in German – That’s the Way Love Goes
Love has many ways, and it doesn’t always require speaking out the words to show love or to feel loved. The German language likes to play around with the ways the love goes. Here are some examples of expressions of love:
- Liebe geht durch den Magen. (Love goes through the stomach.)
- Alte Liebe rostet nicht. (An old love never rusts.)
- Ich hab dich zum fressen gern. (I love you so much, I could just eat you up.)
- Pech im Spiel, Glück in der Liebe. (Unlucky in gambling but lucky in love.)
- Wo die Liebe hinfällt. (The mysterious ways where love finds its place.)
- Was sich liebt das neckt sich. (They fight, so they love each other.)
- Liebe macht blind. (Love makes you blind.)
- Von Luft und Liebe leben. (Living just from air and love.)
It’s important to pay special attention to tiny gestures, as they sometimes speak louder than words. Giving flowers to a lover or someone you like a lot, or making them breakfast in bed, going to the movies to a romantic comedy with your girl or guy, looking at them, hugging, and smiling… all of these are symbols of love and romance that say “du gefällst mir” (I like you).
I Will Always Love You
When it comes to talking about love, humanity has gotten highly poetic over thousands of years in literature. Literature, friends, pets, romantic lovers, even flowers – they all symbolize love But as flowery as some of this writing can be, it just scratches the surface. Love can be found everywhere in different forms and in all languages.
If you are interested in learning how to say “I love you” in other languages as well, or if you want to improve your German language skills, the best way to do that is by downloading the Readle App. There, you can practice reading, listening, and understanding, as well as learn new vocabulary in a fun way. Even the grammar gets entertaining thanks to an engaging quiz. Sign up today, boost your German, practice saying “I love you,” – and remember that you are loved.