How to talk about love in Chinese

This time we discuss how to talk about love in Chinese. If you want to say “I love you”, say Wǒ ài nǐ 我爱你.


Note that the term Wǒ ài nǐ 你爱你 is also a term often used to express love for family members in China.

xǐ huān 喜欢 – to like

Example:
Chinese: 我喜欢他很久了.
Pinyin: Wǒ xǐhuān tā hěn jiǔ le.
English: I have liked him for a long time.

yǒu gǎnjué 有感觉 – to have feelings for someone

Example:
Chinese: 我对他没有感觉。
Pinyin: Wǒ duì tā méiyǒu gǎnjué.
English: I do not have any feelings for him.

àn liàn 暗恋 – to be in love

Example:
Chinese: 我暗恋他很久了.
Pinyin: Wǒ ànliàn tā hěn jiǔle.
English: I have been in love with him for a long time.

Other Chinese words that describe love

ài 爱 – to love

Example:

Chinese: 我爱你.
Pinyin: Wǒ ài nǐ.
English: I love you.

ài shàng 爱上 – to be in love with

Example 1:
Chinese: 我想我爱上他了.
Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng wǒ ài shàng tā le.
English: I think that I am in love with him.

Example 2:
Chinese: 你爱上他了吗?
Pinyin: Nǐ ài shàng tāle ma?
English: Are you in love with him?

bái tóu xié lǎo 白头偕老 – to be old together, to live together to the end

Example:
Chinese: 我们相约要白头偕老.
Pinyin: Wǒmen xiāngyuē yào bái tóu xié lǎo.
English: We have met, and want to live together to the end.

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In Chinese, when you want to describe that you “fall in love with ….” you say ài shàng 爱上 …. someone. Here, ài 爱 is love, and the directional component shàng 上 means “in, with” someone.

In the famous Chinese proverb (chéng yǔ 成语) one says bái tóu xié lǎo 白头偕老. Bái tóu xié lǎo 白头偕老 means that you want to live together forever (until your hair turns white.)

Popular words and phrases

dānshēngǒu 单身狗 – this means “a single dog” describing a single person.

Example:
Chinese: 他至今还是一个单身狗。
Pinyin: Tā zhìjīn háishì yīgè dānshēn gǒu.
English: Until this day he is still a single person.

yuēhuì 约会 – a date with someone

Example:
Chinese: 今晚我有个约会。
Pinyin: Jīn wǎn wǒ yǒu gè yuēhuì.
English: I have a date this evening.

wǎngliàn 网恋 – online dating

Example:
Chinese: 我跟我丈夫是通过网恋走向婚姻的.Pinyin: Wǒ gēn wǒ zhàngfū shì tōngguò wǎngliàn zǒu xiàng hūnyīnde.English: My husband and I got married after dating online.

yì dì liàn 异地恋 – long-distance relationship

Example:
Chinese: 异地恋太煎熬了.
Pinyin: Yìdì liàn tài jiān áo le.
English: A long-distance relationship is very painful.

ànliàn 暗恋 – to love someone secretly

Example:
Chinese: 她太漂亮,很多男生暗恋她。
Pinyin: Tā tài piàoliang, hěnduō nánshēng ànliàn tā.
English: She is very beautiful. Many boys love her secretly.

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