French Love Terms

French Love Terms

French terms of endearment and love

When you think of love, France seems to be the place people associate it with. I mean, Paris is known as the city of love! From the French kiss to holding hands down the Champs-Élysée, the French language is certainly one of the best languages to express endearment towards the one you care about. Its fluidity and beautiful melodic rhythm can sooth anyone in the right situation.

To help out those who are learning French or those who want to get a taste of French, this article was designed to go over important vocabulary words, phrases, and terms related to love. At the very bottom, there are terms of endearment. Don’t be shy, keep reading.

French Love Terms / Words / Phrases

Keep in mind that some of the verbs need to be conjugated, and some adjectives need to agree with the gender of the speaker: (m) = a masculine noun and (f) = a feminine one. So, some parts of the list may require a certain level of French understanding.

I love you: je t’aime (juh tehm)
If there was one term you would need to know, it would be je t’aime, I love you.
To love / adore (verb): aimer / adorer / kiffer (slang)
Love (noun): l’amour (if said incorrectly, it may be misunderstood for la mort, “death”)
Mon amour: my love (m/f)
An extra Lover: un amant (m), une maîtresse (France), une amante (Canada)

Single (relationship status): célibataire 
To have a date with… : avoir un rendez-vous avec…
To be seeing someone / dating (relationship status): sortir avec…
Do you want to go out with me? (be my boyfriend / girlfriend): veux-tu sortir avec moi ?
Boyfriend / girlfriend: petit ami; petite amie 
Note** The terms mon copain and ma copine are also used to signify boyfriend or girlfriend even though those words are traditionally taught to only mean “friend”
To be in love with… : être amoureux de… 
To fall in love with… : tomber amoureux de…
Love at first sight: un coup de foudre (literally, a strike of thunder)
Madly in love: fou d’amour
To flirt / make a move / come on to: draguer, flirter avec..
To kiss somebody: donner (quelqu’un) un bisou; embrasser
To hug somebody: serrer (dans les bras) [family/comfort]; embrasser 
Keep in mind that is somewhat complex in that it is also denoted by the word embrasser, which means to kiss. This can really only be sorted out through context. The other example given is more of a comforting hug without any romantic intent behind it – kind of when you hug your mother / or hug a friend who’s in tough times. We don’t hug a lot in France between friends, but the bise is popular.
To cuddle: faire un câlin 
To make out with… : s’embrasser (in the meaning to kiss each other passionatly), se rouler une pelle (colloquial) or peloter (slang/sexual touching implied), se galocher (colloquial, probably not used everywhere).
To have sex / make love: faire l’amour; baiser (slang/somewhat offensive)
My first time (having sex): ma première fois (there’s a funny song about this)
To break up: rompre / casser
My ex-lover: mon ex
To get back together / make-up: faire la paix; se réconcilier
A love triangle: triangle amoureux
Brotherly love: amour fraternel
A love affair: une aventure
A love affair (activity): une passion

To marry… : epouser; se marier
Do you want to marry me? : veux-tu m’epouser ?
My Fiance: mon fiancé (for a guy); ma fiancée (for a girl)
Engagement ring: une bague de fiançailles
Wedding ring: une bague / un anneau 
A Marriage: un mariage
Honeymoon: lune de miel
Honeymoon trip: voyage de noces
My husband: mon mari, mon époux
My wife: ma femme, ma marie, mon épouse

French Terms of Endearment

Just as in English, there are many cute nicknames you can come up with to address your love. Here’s just a few of them I decided to share. Make sure that the gender of the word agrees with the gender of the person you’re talking to.

These terms can be used with any gender:
Mon chou: my cream puff (sweetie or sweetheart)
Ma puce: my flea
Mon cœur: my love
Mon trésor: my treasure
Mon cher / ma chère: my dear
Mon ange: my angel
Mon canard: my duck
Mon chouchou: my pet
Mon lapin: my rabbit
Mon bébé: my baby
Ma chérie: my dear

Men only:
Mon amour: my love
Mon chéri: my dear
Mon chou: my sweetheart

Women only:
Ma biche: my doe
Ma bichette: my little doe
Ma belle: my beautiful
Ma petite: my little love

We covered a lot of ground. I hope you can now better express your loving sentiments to one another, or understand key love terms in the French language.

Special thanks to hellshogun and mamouthor80 from Reddit for revisions.

To return to our French Language Learning section, please click HERE.

Francophile-extraodinaire, John Elkhoury works and lives in France, dates French people, and eats too much French bread. John mastered the French language and has over a decade’s worth of experience.

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