Thursday, February 14, 2008

¡Feliz día de los enamorados! ¡Feliz día de San Valentín!

Thanks to an e-newsletter I received today, I finally understand the difference between saying "Te quiero" and "Te amo" for "I love you." Read the following excerpt to find out what the difference is and how to say other love words in Spanish.

El Amor - Palabras y Dichos (Love - Words and Sayings)

First things first, how do you say "to fall in love"? To fall in love is "enamorarse". Therefore, el "día de los enamorados" literally means the day of those who are in love. The verb is also used with the helper verb estar to say that you are in love. So depending on whether you are a man or a woman, you would say you are in love like this:

estoy enamorada I am in love (feminine)
estoy enamorado I am in love (masculine)

2 expressions you may have heard are "te amo" and "te quiero". You may wonder - do they mean the exact same thing? Essentially, yes. The verb "to love" is properly translated as "amar" but people throughout Spain and Latin American often prefer to use the verb "querer" ("to want"), to express feelings of love towards the loved one.

"Te amo" it is considered by many to be a bit too flowery; more to be used other than in romantic songs, poems and old movies or plays. So instead, you often hear "te quiero" instead.

How do lovers tell each other that they are in love? One way is "con una carta de amor" - a "love letter". May sound old fashioned but this is still practiced in some parts of Spain and Latin America! But for most, their amor is more often expressed with a bunch of roses and a box of chocolates, "con un ramo de rosas y una caja de bombones".

Is there a verb for fallng out of love? Actually there is: "desenamorarse".

Vocabulary for Types of Love in Spanish

amor a la antigua: old-fashioned love, old-fashioned affair

amor al prójimo: love toward your fellow man

amor a primera vista: love at first sight

amor ciego: blind love

amor de madre: mother´s love

amor eterno: everlasting love

amor libre: free love

amor no correspondido: unrequited love

amor platónico: platonic love

amor prohibido: forbidden love

amor propio: self love, self esteem

amor secreto: hidden love

(excerpt from Musical Spanish)

Even though these love words and sayings are geared towards adults, still, enjoy telling your little one "I love you" in Spanish. And "Te quiero a tí" means "I love you, too."

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