Spanish might not get everyone's vote for most romantic language in the world (French generally wins that accolade) but it's certainly vying for the top spot. Latinos are generally regarded as some of the sexiest people around. How they express themselves through language is a big part of the overall appeal.
Latin American Spanish speakers like to use the words te
If you're interested in improving your Spanish for your travels, check out this article on learning a language for travel for great tips and practical advice.
Spanish Love Phrases
Te quiero – I love you. Literally, “I want you” and can be used in a sentence such as te quiero hablar (“I want to talk to you”). The Spanish verb querer means “to want”. Te quiero is the most common phrase used to show affection in Spanish. You can use it with a lover, family member, friend, or even pet.
Te amo – I love you. This is a much stronger term of endearment and is used between lovers. Amar means “to love”.
Te deseo – I desire you. If you use this verb you have moved up from simple affection to sexual desire. Be careful using te deseo as it's very direct.
Estoy enamorado/a de ti/vos – I'm in love with you. Letting someone know that you are in love with them is best said direct. The direct English translation would be “I am enamoured with you” but we don't recommend anyone outside of a 19th-century novel use this phrase.
Mi corazón – Literally, “My heart”. Used in a similar way to “my love” in English. Can be used between friends, especially female to male.
Cariño/a – Sweetheart. Cariño is a versatile word and can be used to expression affection for something, an affectionate person, as in cariñoso, or as a noun to mean a hug or cuddle.Mostly it's used in a similar way to the words “honey” or “sweetheart”.
Querido/a – Dear. A common everyday expression in many Latin American countries. One will often see Querido Juan or Querida Juana for example in a written or typed letter. It's the same as “Dear John”, but people use querido as a sign of expression just as someone might say “thank you, dear” in English.
Gordo/a – Fatty. This is widely used in Argentina and although it sounds like an insult, and can be used as one, between lovers, friends, or family it's used as a word of endearment.
Mi vida – My life. A nice expression for showing your loved one how much they mean.
Mi ángel – My angel.
Preciosa – Precious. Used quite a bit in Peru between novios (“boyfriend/girlfriend”) and can be used to refer to anything beautiful or impressive.
Mi cielo – Literally “my sky”, but is generally accepted to mean “my heaven”. Cielos is a common expression in Spanish which is used in a similar fashion to “heavens!” in English as an expression of surprise or resignation.
Mi Rey/Reina – My King/Queen. This is pretty straightforward. When you hold someone in high regard you can refer to them as your King or Queen.
Hermoso/hermosa – In Argentina especially this is a common way to show that you think someone is beautiful. It could be used between courting couples or even as a piropo (a complement) from a stranger. But used between amantes it can be used as a show of love.
Mami/Papi – Mommy/Daddy. Can be used to refer to your mom and dad but is often used to refer to an attractive guy or girl. Favorited by Reggaetoneros (“Reggaeton musicians”) worldwide, Mami or Papi usually means that the speaker finds the other person sexy. This is common in Colombia, Costa Rica, and other countries around the Caribbean. Not so common in places like Chile, Argentina, Paraguay. It can be used to catcall women on the street and is seen as a little coarse in many cases. Mamita and Papito are typical Spanish diminuitives of these words and are just as common.
These expressions are just a few typical Latin American Spanish words of endearment to start your romantic language journey. There are a lot more but these are some of the most popular. If you've come across any others in common use and you feel they should be added to our list, or they need explaining, please let me know!
How to say ‘very handsome’ in Spanish
Generally, “handsome” in English is used to describe men. For women, one would normally use the word “pretty” or “beautiful”. However, there is no reason why we can’t say that a woman is “very handsome”. In times past, this was a typical way of describing a good looking woman. But for this explanation of the phrase “very handsome” in Spanish, we will focus on the terms used when referring to a good looking man, as this is the usual use case.
The direct translation of handsome is hermoso/a or guapo/a. Hermoso/guapo is used when referring to a man and hermosa/guapa is used when referring to a woman. (note: you can use both words to refer to things as well as people)
To say “very handsome” in Spanish we simply add the adverb muy, giving muy hermoso and muy guapo.
Example: That guy is very handsome – Ese tipo es muy hermoso. This sentence uses the serform of ‘To Be” in English. We can also use estar in the same sentence: Ese tipo esta muy hermoso. In this second case, the person referring to the handsome guy sees his ‘handsomeness’ as a temporary condition. He might be good looking, normal looking, or even ugly but because of how he looks right at that moment he is called ‘handsome’ using the estar form of “to be”. In many cases, if someone makes an effort to look good, an onlooker might say estas hermosa (in the case of a woman) or estas hermoso in the case of a man.
- Permanently ‘good looking’ – es hermoso
- Looking good right now – esta hermoso
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