“How do you say I love you in Italian?”
Apparently, this is one of the most googled questions. So, since Saint Valentine’s day is approaching, in today’s article, I’m going to answer this question.
But before telling you how to say I love you in Italian, let’s see where the feast of Saint Valentine comes from.
SAINT VALENTINE – ORIGINS
Everyone knows that Saint Valentine is the patron saint of lovers but few know that he’s also the patron saint of epileptics and beekeepers.
But who was St. Valentine?
It seems that Saint Valentine was a 3rd century Roman priest. At that time Claudius II was the emperor in Rome. One day, Claudius decided to forbid the marriage of young people, believing that unmarried soldiers were better fighters than married soldiers.
Obviously, the church disagreed with this new edict since it considered marriages to be sacred.
As a result, priests, Valentine included, used to marry people in secret.
In the end Valentine was caught, imprisoned and tortured for violating Emperor Claudius’ edict.
A legend says that while Valentine was in prison he befriended his jailer’s blind daughter. Valentine prayed a lot with and for her and eventually the lady healed from her blindness.
The story of Valentine didn’t end well though. Indeed, in 269 AD he was sentences to death by beating, stoning and decapitation.
The legend says that he wrote his last words in a letter addressed to his jailer’s daughter, signing it “from your Valentine”.
Althought his sad story, Saint Valentine is very important for lovers all around the world, also in Italy. So, let’s see some of the ways you have to say I love you in Italian and some endearment terms Italians use.
I LOVE YOU…
So, how do you say I love you in Italian? The answer is: it depends.
In fact, while in English the verb to love is used to express both romantic and non-romantic love, in Italian it’s different.
The English expression I love you can be translated in Italian both with: ti amo and ti voglio bene.
However, these two expressions are used in different contexts.
Indeed, the Italian expression ti amo is used only to express romantic love.
By contrast, the Italian expression ti voglio bene is mainly used to express non-romantic love, even if it can be used to express romantic love too.
So, to my husband/wife I’ll say ti amo, but to my mother/father/cousin/friend, etc I’ll say ti voglio bene.
ENDEARMENT TERMS AND SENTENCES TO SHOW AFFECTION
As in any other country, also in Italy people use endearment terms and paroline dolci – sweet nothings.
Let’s see the most common ones:
- Caro/a – dear, sweetie
- Tesoro – darling, sweetie
- Amore – love
- Sei la mia vita – you’re my life
- Sei la luce dei miei occhi – you’re the light of my eyes
- Sei la mia anima gemella – you’re my soulmate
- Non posso vivere senza di te – I can’t live without you
- Voglio passare il resto della mia vita con te – I want to spend the rest of my life with you
What are the most common endearment terms in your language?
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