Updated: May 23, 2019
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.
Tu m’aimes? / Est-ce que tu m’aimes?
Do you love me?
Je t’aime (juh tehm)
I love you
Je n’aime que toi (juh nem kuh twah)
I only love you
Aimer, adorer, kiffer (slang)
To love / To adore (the verb)
NOTE: if said incorrectly this word can be misunderstood for “la mort” which means death… so… um… don’t mess this up! Elongate the “ooooueeerr” 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
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 should respond with a 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.
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Hi! Great article. Just two details from the french fussy I am : there’s no accent in “mon chèr”, the correct way to write it is “mon cher”. The accent is only present in the feminine version, “ma chère”.
Also, we usually only call women “ma puce”, not men ;)
I feel like I couldn’t use a lot of the non-gender specific terms of endearment with my boyfriend. Could you edit this to mark the difference between what’s acceptable in a relationship versus what a mother would call her child? (Like ma puce, would any grown man actually want to be called that?)
Hey, after looking at your comment, I updated this list AND reformatted it!
To answer your question? Yes, you can call your boyfriend “ma puce” this is precisely because all these terms of endearment are supposed to be lovely-dovey, cute.
Some couples are different though – maybe you want to call your boyfriend “my big, strong, burly woodsman”. When you consider how many things you can call your special someone – it takes some creativity. If you have a decent handling of French then use what I’ve given as a base and move from there!
As one brace mentioned, the bedmate acclimated to acknowledge aback the Pet names for girls alleged him “sweetie,” but again he accomplished she alleged around anybody she came into acquaintance with “sweetie.” The bedmate anticipation the appellation was abracadabra and it began to lose any acceptation in their relationship.
A very cute list, and very helpful too. Thanks!
I want to get a tattoo of a saying that is special to me and I would like it in french. I googled each individual word but am not sure if that would be correct if you were speaking in french. I would like to know so I can get it right. Can you help. When I did the words singly I got Meilleur Putain de aimer. Does that make sense? would this be correct?
Meilleur putain de aimer is just plain wrong in so many respects. First on a grammatical level, you have d’aimer and not “de aimer”, secondly it doesn’t make sense (and is somewhat vulgar). What are you trying to say in English?
There aren’t many errors, it’s just all a little on the formal side! nothing wrong with that :)
Please review your post. There are far too many errors.
I reviewed the post and found some insignificant typos so thank you for bringing that to my attention. However I would have to strongly disagree that “there are far too many errors.”
Maybe some specificity next time would be more appreciated.
Thanks for reading! :)