Gringa Guide to Spanish Lesson 5: The Many Forms of “Love”.
With Valentine’s Day next week, I thought this would be the perfect time to supply you with a quick Spanish lesson on this crazy little thing called amor! If you haven’t figured it out yet, Spanish is a complicated language in general, so just imagine how complicated things get when trying to express the many different forms of love. As always, I’m here to help you figure it out…entonces, here we go!
Below are some of the most common phrases to express different levels of love/affection, my gringa translation of the phrase, and their actual meaning.
1. Me caes bien = You’re cool, glad we’re friends
So, you met someone recently…not sure your feelings for them, but want them to know you think they are cool and want to continue your friendship!? Then tell them “me caes bien” which literally translates as “you fall on me well.”
2. Me gustas = I like you
One of the first phrases you learn in Spanish 101 uses this verb= me gusta…comer tacos, el color azul, etc. Now this phrases uses the same verb, adds some funky conjugations that I won’t get in to right now, and TADA! Let someone know you “like” them with this phrase! From what I’ve seen, the feelings related here in Spanish are slightly more romantic than in English, so only use this when referencing a romantic partner, not telling someone you like them in the platonic sense.
3. Te quiero = I “like, like” you
Think back to your childhood days and your struggle to clarify your feelings between “like” and “like, like”. Not so simple, right? Yeah, well, that’s because English is missing a word there. Spanish, however, figured out a way to express the mysterious emotional level before LOVE but after LIKE and it is –te quiero– which literally means “I want you” but is the perfect phrase for those not ready for the “Big L.”
4. Te amo = It must be LOVE!
Just as you would tell someone in English that you love them, you can tell your sweetie te amo. Avoid using this word for anything BUT humans…apparently only gringos think it is appropriate to use the same verb when expressing your love for your significant other as you do to express your love for pizza, or TV, or any other inanimate object. That is not the case for Spanish. You do not use AMAR for food or places or things…just people.
That’s the power of amor! All you need is amor! Crazy in amor! Ok…I’m done.