The Chinese Word for Love | Different ways to say “love” in Mandarin

The Chinese Word for Love

When learning a language, one of the first things you should learn is to say “I love you!” In fact, many people learn the word for “love” in tons of different languages, just in case! So, let’s learn not just the Chinese word for love, but at least 5 ways to say “I love you” in the Chinese language! That way, you can express your love in several different ways!

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1. 我爱妳 (wǒ ài nǎi)

我爱妳 (wǒ ài nǎi) is the most common way to say I love you in Chinese. In traditional Chinese, 愛 could be translated into three parts. The upper part, 爫 represents the hand. The middle part, 冖 is like a cap, a cover upon the heart 心. The last part 夊 refers to feet. In combination, it means putting one’s heart inside a box or wrapped in a beautiful scarf and carried it with care and love. Isn’t that lovely? One of the nicest things about learning Chinese is seeing how the characters and meanings have evolved over times like this!

Example Sentence:


Wǒ ài nǐ
I love you


Wǒ hěn ài kàn diànyǐng, suǒyǐ zhōumò cháng gēn péngyou huò jiārén qù diànyǐngyuàn kàn diànyǐng.

I love watching movies, so I often watch movies in the theatre with friends and family.

2. 我喜欢你 (wǒ xǐhuan nǐ)

我喜欢你 (wǒ xǐhuan nǐ) literally means “I like you.” It’s not as strong as the Chinese words for love, but it’s a similar meaning and much more commonly used. Definitely a good phrase to know in Chinese! We included it in this list, becuase to some people, it’s a shy way to say I love you! So for some people, this might be the perfect phrase to use. 

Example Sentence: 


Wǒ xǐhuān nǐ

I like you.
Xiàtiān de shíhou wǒ xǐhuan qù hǎibiān.
I like to go to the beach in summer.

3. 一见钟情 (yījiàn zhōngqíng)

Here’s a phrase that works in every language – “Love at first sight!” In fact the Chinese is 一见钟情 (yījiàn zhōngqíng) which breaks down like this. 一 / yī means first. 见 / jiàn means to see. 钟情 /zhōngqíng means love. So, if you’re romantically in love with someone from the moment you meet, then this word is perfect for you! Be careful though, it’s a powerful phrase!

Jiāowǎng nàme jiǔle, dāngchū wǒ duì nǎi yījiànzhōngqíng, xiànzài nǎi yuànyì jià gěi wǒ ma?
I fall in love with you at first sight. Now we’ve been together for so long, would you marry me?

4. 啾咪 (jiū mī)

啾咪 (jiū mī) is a Chinese slang which refers to a blow kiss. It’s also a way to act cute when you need a favor or to show your gratitude.

Nǐ huílái de shíhou kěyǐ shùnbiàn bāng wǒ mǎi wǔcān ma?
Could you get lunch for me on your way back?

Jiū mī ō ài nǐ la!
啾咪喔 爱你啦!
Thanks! I love you!

Ok, that’s it for the Chinese word for love.

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