8 Cute Ways To Say I Love You In Portuguese

European Portuguese “I love you”

Oh, the love…taking ideas from the internet about what to write about, I saw that many people were searching the web for ways to say “I Love You In Portuguese”. This seems so intriguing and lovable, because in the days we are currently living in, it gives me hope to see that love still brings people together. At least in what concerns online searching keywords.

In fact, in my years of experience teaching European Portuguese as a foreign language, I have come to notice that the motivation of my students for learning Portuguese came from one of these three main factors (sometimes more than one at the same time):

Orrrr…yeah! You guessed it….

  • Love!

So, today I will write a little bit about all the ways there are to tell your special one (and also other meaningful people in your life, because love comes in many different ways, right?) that you love him or her.

Make sure to check out the following YouTube video, where I am talking about this topic 🙂

Impress With Expressing Your Love In A Foreign Language

Think about it, won’t it be super exotic to tell your lover that you have deep feelings for them…in another language? Maybe they don’t know Portuguese at all and will just find it super cute that you are saying nice sounding words in another language to them, while showing a fuzzy, sweet face.

OR they will already be Portuguese (´cause, you know, we are super lovable so a lot of foreigners fall in love with us…BE AWARE!) and they will find it amazing that you are uttering words in Portuguese that come directly from your heart. That will make their own heart melt. Believe me, been there, done that.

So, shall we start?


This is the most straight-forward way to tell someone you love that you love them. Be aware, though. This word should not be used lightly, because in Portuguese it carries a really big weight. You won’t say this to someone you just met or that you have been dating just for some days (unless you know this person is really the one and you are 100% sure about this! Or for the fans of “How I met your mother” out there, you are a Ted Mosby).

You also won’t say it to the guy in the supermarket, the lady who serves your coffee and not even to a friend (unless something really meaningful or crazy just happened and you have to let your friend know that you care that much about them!). In fact, people even have some difficulty saying it to their parents (teenagers for sure do!). I don’t know why, but we even feel a bit embarrassed saying it to someone, so when we do, we really mean it!

In English, for example, it is much more lightly used. You hear and see people saying and writing “Love you”, “Love ya” or “Luv ya” all the time, I guess. But in Portuguese it is not like that. Think of it as if it is a game you are playing and you only have some credit to use this word, so you have to choose wisely before you go around “wasting” it!


The literal meaning of this is “I adore you”. It is funny, though, that contrarily to the last expression “Amo-te”, and contrarily to the English expression, it really doesn’t carry as much weight. This is, I would say, the equivalent to “Love you” in English. You can use it more lightly. You will use it without feeling much embarrassment.

Ok, you still can’t use it with the mailman when he is delivering your letters to your door, but with friends and family especially, it is much easier to use than the heavier version “Amo-te”.  At least in my opinion (any European Portuguese speakers out there who can refute?).

#Gosto muito de ti

Meaning “I like you very much”, this is a really sweet way to tell someone that you enjoy their company, that you feel comfortable with them and that you probably want to spend more time with them (at least that is what my mind associates this expression with). For me, it is one of the sweetest things to hear, and if there is a slight foreign accent behind it, it is even cuter.

This expression can be used even more lightly than the two previous ones, which means you can use it to express feelings for your friends, family and lover without feeling bad or awkward about it (still, it will be a bit weird if you say it to the mailman, but hey, who am I to judge?).

8 Cute Ways To Say I Love You In Portuguese

How To Call Your Special One In European Portuguese

So, these are some of the love expressions that you can learn and practice, but to take you a bit further in this love affair, I am now going to enumerate some ways you can name your significant other:

#Meu amor

I personally like this expression a lot because it just sounds so sweet. You use it to say “My love” and it is highly likely that your loved one will light up with a smile. The more common version of this expression, though, it’s its abbreviation, which shrinks it until it becomes simply “Mor”. This is used constantly among Portuguese speaking couples.

#Meu doce

Meaning literally “My sweet”, it is something like “My sweetie” in English. Just use it and abuse it with your partner and things probably will go better in your relationship (disclaimer: I am not a relationship adviser so do not take my words too seriously :P).


This one I learnt from my sister and brother-in-law, as they always call this to each other, which I find really cute. Literally meaning “Heart”, you can call this to a person to express great love.

#Meu xuxu

A “slang” way of expressing your feelings. You can use it as a cute way of calling your loved one and if you are saying it to a Portuguese person, you will likely obtain some smiles or laughs in return. If my non-Portuguese speaking boyfriend would suddenly come to me and say “Olá, meu xuxu”, I would most certainly laugh (not in a bad way, though). A curious thing about this is that “xuxu” is more a Brazilian Portuguese word, and we use it only in a funny (but caring) way here in Portugal.


Ok, for the slimy lovers out there, that do not have problems sounding a bit ridiculous when in love (hey, after all, love is about that as well, right?), this one is for you! Literally meaning “baby”, it is far less used than in English and it sounds far more ridiculous (in my opinion). I would never and I did never use it, right? WRONG! I have used it a lot and I am not ashamed of it (ok, maybe a little). It is so sweet to say it to your loved one, it is just impossible to resist it!

I will repeat the expressions once more for you =)

8 Cute Ways To Say I Love You In Portuguese

  • Amo-te
  • Adoro-te
  • Gosto muito de ti
  • Meu amor
  • Meu doce
  • Coração
  • Meu xuxu
  • Bebé

8 Cute Ways To Say I Love You In Portuguese

I want to end this post by saying that I am very happy to having written something about one of my favourite topics.

Before sending you on your ways, I just want to wish you lots of love! Please go ahead and spread this feeling around, as our world is much in need for more and more of it!

After all, love is the universal language!

Let me know in the comment section below how to say “I Love You” in your language 🙂



P.S. Do you want to learn more of this beautiful language?

Check out my European Portuguese Language Course and you will be able to have access to:
– vocabulary;
– grammar;
– listening comprehension;
– interpretation of texts;
– pronunciation guides;
– writing exercises.

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20 thoughts on “European Portuguese “I love you”

  1. Hello Mia,

    Very great to find this that explains things so clearly.
    I have a question still, because of the cultural difference, I speak spanish and we use the equivalent of I love you, when we are really in love and amo-te only in serious relationships so hence the need to understand better.
    What is your opinion if the Portuguese guy that I am dating calls me amor ( only very few times meu amor ) and says me adoro-te.
    Would you say he is actually in love or just likes me ?

    1. Olá, Ana 🙂
      This is a difficult question to answer, because words don’t always reflect real feelings, and many times men are bad with words. But I guess that it seems that if someone calls you “amor” or “meu amor”, this person likes you a lot and is possibly in love with you. But again, this is not like math, so I cannot really say for sure!
      I hope this helps!

  2. Bom dia, thank you for this. I have a beginner question – is ‘meu amor’ and ‘meu doce’ The same if said by a man to a woman and a woman to a man (or woman/woman man/man for that matter!)? Are amor and doce always masculine? Hope my question makes sense.
    Muito obrigado,

    1. Olá!
      Thank you for your question!
      So, the answer is yes, “meu doce” and “meu amor” are always masculine, whether you are speaking to a man or to a woman. Why is this?
      Because here you do not have an adjective (which would change whether speaking to a man or to a woman) but rather a noun – “amor” and “doce”. The nouns all have a gender, and in this case these two nouns are masculine, so you will have to keep them this way, no matter who you are speaking to or about. Does this make sense?
      In the same way, if you have the noun “fofura” (which is something like “cutie”), you would have to say “minha fofura” because it is a feminine noun…so you would say “minha fofura” whether you were talking to a man or to a woman. =)

      I hope this makes sense now =)


  3. Boa Noite Mia, I have a block to learn Portuguese although I so truly love the Portuguese and there language. I got no idea how to unblock and make Portuguese my language? Any ideas?

    1. Hey Collen!
      May I ask…in which way have you been trying to learn? With classes, alone, with a language partner?
      I just want to know because I think maybe it is time to think outside of the box and try something completely different…
      Have you checked my online course? Maybe studying at your own pace and being able to check the videos and explanations often might help you?
      If you are interested, check it out here:

      If you already tried something like this, maybe go the other way. Try some face to face classes, find a language partner…there are so many options! Also, if you can come to Portugal for some weeks and spend the time really trying to immerse yourself in the language.

      Just do not give up and try to have fun in the process!


  4. Hi! I’m in the US I am bilingual but need some clarification ? .. My dad used to call me fofa/fofinha .. I loved this! I’m wondering is it ok to use this adorable term of endearment between myself and a new crush who like yourself resides in Porto ?.. (long distance, mutual crush but not boyfriend) 🙂

    1. Hi Tina!
      Ahaha.. that is indeed a nice term! Fofa/ Fofinha is used also with crushes and so on, but normally more with women/girls. You can say “Fofo/Fofinho” to your new love (;)), though. I think he will find it cute!
      Just give it a try 😀
      Wish you two all the best!

  5. Thanks for that! It’s hard to find resources online about European Portuguese. Most of the time they just say “Portuguese” but they really mean Brazilian Portuguese. I know it’s not technically very far and people would get it in Portugal but my girlfriend is a stickler (understandably) for her language and even though she just usually laughs when I use Brazilian words or expressions, it’s really cool to be able to learn proper words.

    1. Hey Fluff!
      Thank you! I am glad you are enjoying my website. Just feel free to explore all the resources I have and keep giving me some input, I really appreciate that!
      I am constantly adding new material, so do come back to check it out!
      Your girlfriend will be glad to hear that your Portuguese is becoming “Europanized” ahah. I know I would 😉 (although I do love Brazilian Portuguese as well).
      Have fun in your learning journey !

      Beijinhos (to you and your girlfriend),

  6. Hello Mia! I love your enthusiasm and passion. It comes off with every sentence! I was immediately pulled into your conversational way of explaining things. And its so refreshing. Thank you. Portugal is lucky to have you as such an ambassador…grin…
    As a child I was bilingual and I miss now not speaking more languages. And it gave me the global sense of how we can connect to and with each other.
    Great job!

    1. Thanks Ariel for your kind comment! That’s exactly what I intend, to connect with people and to bring Portugal into the world!
      Ah growing bilingual would be my dream but I didn’t actually! However, I consider myself almost as a late bilingual because I now think speak and write daily both in Portuguese and English due to my staying in Holland and England.
      Please do come back later to my website, as I think it would be very good if you would like to learn more about Portuguese! 😉
      Thank you again for your kind words,

  7. Hi Mia, again many I already know, will have to work on those that I don’t.


    1. Yes, keep up the good work! You will soon be better at the language!

  8. Woww you have a lot of great info for someone who is trying to learn more about the language of Portuguese and also learn about the culture. You are right about reasons for learning the language. Business, moving there, or Love! lol. It’s universal. I actually learned a lot looking through the site and will check back so I can at least keep a few Portuguese words in my vocab, especially I love you 🙂

    1. Hi Kayla! Thank you so much for your nice comment! I will be happy if you keep coming back now and then and I am also happy that you have learnt something going through my website ! That is really what I intend =)
      Thank you again!

  9. Hi Mia,
    thanks for sharing these love-expressions with us. I like that the article is very structured and well-illustrated. Some of the expressions, e.g. amo-te is also similar in Italian, isn’t it? What is your favorite language regarding expressions for love? As you know a lot of languages, it might be interesting to hear 🙂

    1. Hey Dominik!
      Thank you for your comment and the compliments you gave to my post.
      You are right when you say that “amo-te” is similar in Italian. Italian is one of the five so-called “Romance languages”, being Portuguese, Spanish, French and Romanian the other 4. Thus, having the same language family, there will be a lot of expressions, words and even grammar parts that are really similar. To answer your question more specifically, “amo-te” in Italian is “ti amo” I believe, so you can see that it IS really similar.
      In terms of my favourite language regarding expressions of love, I would say Estonian. But then again, I really like the sound of Estonian for pretty much everything, so I must be a bit biased. But in case you are interested, in Estonian “amo-te” is “Ma armastan sind” and love is “Armastus”. Cute, hum?
      I hope that I have answered your questions well and I hope to see you here more often!
      Thank you very much again and lots of success right back at you!

  10. Hi Mia,

    I did not know that Portuguese is the 4th most spoken language in the world! I have never been to Portugal before, but want definitely visit this beautiful country. The good point is, it is not far away from Austria 😉

    Your website is very clear and beautiful, I love your pictures from Portugal and your home town of Porto. You’ve found an interesting Niche, I’m curious about how your site evolves.

    1. Hey Daniel!
      Thanks for your comment, it is really good to receive compliments on your website!
      I also think that my country and home are beautiful, but I am biased ahah.
      If you do visit, afterwards let me know what you thought about it.
      Please also do come back to the website. I will add more content and I will add some materials to learn Portuguese as well, in case you are interested.
      Thank you very much again and lots of success in your endeavours!

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