French Love Terms

French Love & Endearment

French Endearment & 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 soothe 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 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.

Women Only Terms:

Ma belle: my beautiful

Ma petite: my little love

Ma biche: my doe (common)

Ma bichette: my little doe

Ma chère: my dear

Men Only Terms:

Mon amour: my love

Mon chéri: my dear

Mon chou: my sweetheart​

Mon chèr: my dear

Gender-Neutral Terms of Endearment:

These terms can be used for anyone!

Mon chou: my sweetheart​ / sweetie (literally: my cabbage)

Ma puce: my sweetheart​ (literally: my flea)

Mon cœur: my love (literally: my heart)

Mon trésor: my treasure

Mon ange: my angel

Mon canard: my little duck

Mon bébé: my baby

French Love Terms, Words, Phrases & Expressions

Now we're going to talk about some love terms and phrases in French.​

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.


Do you love me? Tu m'aimes? / Est-ce que tu m'aimes?

I love you: je t'aime (juh tehm)

I only love you: je n'aime que toi (juh nem kuh twah)

To love / To adore (the verb): aimer, adorer, kiffer (slang)

Love (noun): l'amour

NOTE: if said incorrectly this word can be misunderstood for "la mort" which means death... so... um... don't mess this up! Elongate the "moooo" portion to avoid confusion.

A lover on the side: un amant (m), une maîtresse (f)(France), une amante (f)(Canadian French)

To be single: célibataire

To have a date with (name of person): avoir un rendez-vous avec (name of person)

Example sentence: j'ai un rendez-vous avec Michelle, on va regarder Netflix chez elle.

To be seeing someone / dating: sortir avec...

Boyfriend / girlfriend: petit ami / petite amie

NOTE: The terms mon copain and ma copine are also commonly used to signify a boyfriend or girlfriend even though they're traditionally translated as "friend" in English

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 lightning)

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 members / for comfort]; embrasser

NOTE: Embrasser means both to hug and to kiss in French. This can only be sorted out through context. The other example given is a comforting hug without any romantic intent behind it - kind of when you hug someone going through tough times. We don't hug a lot in France between friends, rather we use the bise.

To cuddle: faire un câlin

To make out with...: s'embrasser (in the meaning to kiss each other passionately), se rouler une pelle (colloquial), 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: ma première fois (there's a funny song about this)

To break up (relationship): rompre / casser

My Ex: mon ex (m)(f)

To get back together / make-up: faire la paix; se réconcilier

A love triangle: triangle amoureux

NOTE: giggity

A love affair (person): une aventure

A love affair (activity): une passion

To marry: épouser; se marier

Do you want to marry me? veux-tu m'epouser

NOTE: you better say "YES"

My fiance: mon fiancé (male); ma fiancée (female) 

Engagement ring: une bague des 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 (legal terminology)

My wife: ma femme; ma marie; ma épouse (legal terminology)

Liked the list? Make sure to share it around and spread the love.

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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