Expressions of Affection: Saying ‘I Love You’ in Chinese

For most Chinese learners, you might know “我爱你” (wǒ ài nǐ,I love You). But do you want to know other alternative ways to say I love you in Chinese and surprise your Chinese girlfirend/boyfriend? Here I list several Chinese I love you expressions along with examples. Let’s find out!

How to say I love you in Chinese

Today’s topic is a bit sweet (有点甜, yǒu diǎn tián). Here I have summarised 9 Chinese love expressions, which categorised into three groups – common expressions, internet slangs and classical sayings.  Some possible good and bad responses you might get is also shown below.

Common expressions

我喜欢你 / 我爱你

wǒ xǐ huān nǐ / wǒ ài nǐ


When you feel good with someone when you two met, you might say “我喜欢你” (I like you) instead of “我爱你”. After a period of time, you might fall in love with the person, you might want to say “I love you”. The emotion with 我爱你 is stronger than 我喜欢你.





One important thing you should know is that most Chinese people don’t express affection or admiration directly. They usually use their action instead of saying. They might give a gift along with a letter. They might write “I love you” in the letter instead of actually saying it. However, it’s the 21st century. The generation in China is getting more open now. So some young people in China have a relatively open mind. 


wǒ xiǎng nǐ

我想你 means I miss you. 我好想你 (wǒ hǎo xiǎng nǐ) means I miss you so much. Chinese people use these expressions quite often when talking to their partner through phone call or text message. There is a Chinese song called 好想你 you might want to sing for your partner ;D



wǒ xiǎng hé nǐ zài yī qǐ

我想和你在一起 means I want to be with you. When you want to tell the girl/boy that you like her/him, and want to be with her/him, you can say that. We call this action as 告白 (gào bái). Chinese pop singer 周杰伦 (zhōu jié lún) has a song named 告白气球 (gào bái qì qiú). 

和…在一起:be with someone

嫁给我吧 / 娶我吧

jià gěi wǒ ba / qǔ wǒ ba


嫁给我吧 / 娶我吧 means marry me. When you two have been together for a period of time, you might want to marry the one you love, then you can say 嫁给我吧 or 娶我吧. The difference between these two is the former is for males and the latter is for females. It is better with a cake and a ring in a romantic atmosphere with a romantic background song.

嫁给我 should be used by a man. If it’s a woman, she should use 娶我吧. 

A woman 嫁给 a man. A man 娶 a woman.

Internet slangs


wǔ èr líng

520 in Chinese sounds like 我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ), so 20th of May has become a valentine’s day in China. And Chinese people often use this slang when they 告白 (gào bái) to the one they love. They usually use rose to make “520” with candles.


yī sān yī sì


1314 in Chinese sounds like 一生一世 (yī shēng yī shì). It means the whole lifetime. Same as 520, Chinese people often use this slang when they 告白 (gào bái). You can combine 520 and 1314, which means I love you in my whole life.

Classical sayings

Here are two famous classical ancient Chinese sayings about love.


shān wú léng ,tiān dì hé ,cái gǎn yǔ jūn jué 。

Most Chinese people know that romantic sayings from a Chinese drama called 《还珠格格》 (hái zhū gé ge). It means until mountains have no edges, and sky and earth fused together, I dare to give up loving you. So it reveals that I will never stop loving you. 


无 means 没有,have no something



地:earth, ground, land

合:fuse, blend


敢:dare to

与 means 和,with…,and…

君 means 你,you

绝:break up,end


zhí zǐ zhī shǒu ,yǔ zǐ xié lǎo 。

This saying is from ancient Chinese literature 《诗经》 (shī jīng). It means holding your hand and being with you until we are old. Instead of saying that, you can also say 我想和你白头到老 (wǒ xiǎng hé nǐ bái tóu dào lǎo). Similarly, they are both means I want to be with you to the end.

执 means 握着, hold

子 means 你, you


子之 means 你的, your

与:be with someone

偕 means 共同,一起, together

老:get old

Good response you might get!

The one you love might have the actions…

点点头,diǎn diǎn tóu: nod her/his head

脸红,liǎn hóng: face turns red

笑,xiào: smile

The one you love might say…

我也爱你~,wǒ yě ài nǐ: I love you too!

我也想你~,wǒ yě xiǎng nǐ: I miss you too!

我愿意~,wǒ yuàn yì: Yes I do! (to reponse your 嫁给我吧)

Bad response you might get…

The one you love might have the actions…

摇头,yáo tóu: shake her/his head

皱眉,zhòu méi: frown

抿嘴,mǐn zuǐ: purse her/his lips

The one you love might say…

我们还是做朋友吧。wǒ men hái shì zuò péng yǒu ba: We’d better be friends.

我有男朋友了。 wǒ yǒu nán péng yǒu le:I have got a boyfriend.

我有女朋友了。wǒ yǒu nǚ péng yǒu le: I have got a girlfriend.

不好意思… bú hǎo yì sī: Sorry…

Now you know how to say I love you to your lover. To see whether your understanding of these expressions is good or not, let’s go out and talk to Chinese people about what you learned today! And remember to say 谢谢 (xiè xie, thank you) after they share the ideas about learning Chinese. Hope you enjoy today’s blog! Want to learn more? Click the links below:

I Love You in Chinese

Hello in Chinese

Thank You in Chinese

More Chinese Learning Tips and Tricks!

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