Translations dictionary

te amo

[tey ah-moh]

What does te amo mean?

Te amo means “I love you” in Spanish and Portuguese.

Related words

la familia, mija, te extraño mucho, TKM, toma, me gusta

Where does te amo come from?

te amo

Te amo means “I love you” in Spanish and Portuguese—a two-for-one there, you aspiring papi chulo, you.

For word nerds, te is the second person singular or familiar form of “you” and amo is “I love.” The expression is ancient: We can find te amo in the parent of Spanish and Portuguese, Latin.

In modern Spanish and Portuguese, te amo most often expresses love for a romantic partner, family, and even very near and dear friends. Sometimes it is said with the word yo, “I” and already implied in amo, for emphasis, as in yo te amo.

Examples of te amo

#tbt to Lions and Frida and tacos, oh my! 🦁🌮😱 Mexico, I had so much fun with you. Te amo! You’re up next, Europe! 🔜
@katyperry, May, 2018
He said, "Te amo baby." She smiled; he didn't call her baby unless she called him babe or something like that. She looked into his eyes and got completely lost.
Yosselly A. Lopez, Tikey: Love, Drugs & Fear, 2012
My grandma found a boyfriend from Colombia after being single for 30 years. Got engaged 3 months later and now they’re traveling the world... Thank you for reminding me to enjoy life as much as you can. Te amo viejita [I love you little old lady] ❤
@nickpenalosa, February, 2018

Who uses te amo?

Te amo is generally reserved for more romantic or intense feelings of love, as said between partners or close family members.

Te quiero, literally “I want you” but with the sense of “I care about you,” can express more casual affection for friends, someone you’re dating, or more distant relations.  


Outside of Spanish-language classes, English speakers may have first encountered it in Rihanna’s 2009 song “Te Amo,” about a woman’s passionate but unrequited feelings for Ri Ri.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of te amo like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of te amo that will help our users expand their word mastery.