Feeling romantic? Then possibly you"re all set to speak those three small words. Yet if you"re date a Japanese person, expressing her love in Japanese can gain prettycomplicated. The fact is that there’s no simple way to say, "I love you," in Japanese together there is in English.

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so what space your options?

In this article, we’ll explain why expressing your love verbally isn’t specifically common in Japanese society. We"ll climate introduce four ways you have the right to say, "I love you," in Japanese and also give girlfriend four vital tipsfor appropriately expressing her love in Japanese.

Saying "I Love You" in Japanese: cultural Background

Before we present the various ways to say, "I love you," in Japanese, it’s crucial to know the social background when it pertains to expressing love in Japanese.

In truth,it’s not virtually as usual to say, "I love you," in Japanese as it is in English and the West an ext broadly. The English sentence "I love you" is thrown roughly a lot more often and a lot more casually 보다 the indistinguishable Japanese expression (if you can say there truly is one!). For example, in English, the perfectly normal to phone call your companion that girlfriend love them every day, or to finish aphone call with a quick but heartfelt "love ya"—but this is seldom done in Japanese.

In general, Japanese—and by expansion Japanese culture—is much more subtle andindirect 보다 English and Western culture.In various other words,Japanese human being tend come abide bythe "show, don’t tell" preeminence when it comes to expressing your love.

It’s far an ext common for couples, families, and also friends in Japan to demonstrate their love because that one an additional through actions, fairly than come verbally affirm it.This habit is especially true because that Japanese men, who an ext often tend to prevent extremely direct expressions of love.

There is additionally speculation that part (perhaps most) Japanese civilization feel that making use of the phrase "I love you" too lot will render that meaningless, i m sorry is why the far an ext important to present your love 보다 it is to directly state it.

Finally, plenty of people believe that the ide of love (particularly ai 愛) in Japanese is simply too abstractfor ordinary human being to be able to grasp. In this sense, love is virtually like a poetic ideal instead ofan actual emotion one deserve to experience.

Nevertheless, Japanese world do sometimes say, "I love you," in Japanese, so it is possible to straight express your love in Japanese, also if doing therefore is a lot much less common.

4 distinct Ways to Express your Love in Japanese

In this section, we take a look at four various ways you can say "I love you" in Japanese.


#1: Ai shiteru 愛してる = ns Love you (Deeply)

The word ai shiteru 愛してる is essentially the default expression for "I love you" in Japanese. That is additionally the one that arguably come closest in definition to the English expression "I love you."The character愛ai literally converts to "love," frequently with the connotation of romantic love.

Of every the methods you can express your love in Japanese, ai shiteru isby farthe heaviest, many deeply felt way of doing so. In fact, ns would also translate the wordmore closely to something favor "I love friend deeply" or "I am deeply in love v you."That’s just how expressive this one word is!

Because of its heartfelt connotations—and due to the fact that Japanese culture dictates that love should be expressed v actions and gestures rather than verbally with words—ai shiteru is seldom said aloud.

Normally, the word is provided only in between serious lifelong lovers or when confessing your love for someone for the an initial time. Also in this cases, however, you"ll want to be cautious not come overuse the word. It’s important not unusual for married couples to never say, "Ai shiteru,"throughout their whole marriage!

Despite that is weighty implications, you"ll regularly seeai shiteruused in media, such together TV dramas and pop songs, for dramatic effect.


Ai shiteru is pronounced AYE-shee-teh-roo.

Note that the 2nd syllable (shee) is a lot shorter than the looks and sounds much more like simply a rapid "sh" sound. This method that the entire word sounds an ext like 3 syllables.

In addition, perform not express the "roo" sound together you would certainly an English "r." The Japanese "r" sound is more that a mix of the English "d," "r," and also "l" sounds, comparable to the way we express the "d" sound in the word"ladder."

The adhering to YouTube video clip explains how to pronounceai shiteru:

UsageMost world simply say, "Ai shiteru," however you could also say, "Ai shiteru yo愛してるよ," which translates to something an ext along the present of "I love you, girlfriend know." The yo finishing adds emphasis and makes the a little much more casual.Ai shiteru is a casual, to reduce form of words ai shiteiru 愛している (or ai shiteimasu 愛しています), but neither the these forms is supplied often due to the fact that they’re both much more formal and sound less herbal when expressing her love in Japanese.

#2: Suki da 好きだ = I prefer You

The gender-neutral expression suki da 好きだ is offered a lot an ext commonly thanai shiteru. This expression literally converts to"I choose you," but it have the right to have more heavier implications depending upon the context, the person, and also the method it’s said. As a result,it’s feasible for a expression as an easy as suki da to mean "I love you" or something closer come the English expression (though no as deep as ai shiteru).

Generally speaking, suki da (or the much more formal variation suki desu 好きです) is used to confess to someone that you like them (and desire to day them). for example, if you have actually a girlfriend you’d really prefer to date, you might say, "Suki da yo," come let them recognize you"re interested in lock (I explain the usage of yo here in detail below).

Because that the romantic connotations that saying, "Suki da," to someone, youshouldn"t say this to a purely platonic girlfriend or acquaintance,as it might imply you’d prefer to take it your partnership to the next level. However, if you were to say, "Suki da," to her romantic partner, this could very well be translated as "I love you," despite the reality it literally method "I prefer you," especially if it"s offered in a an ext serious,heartfelt way.

Ultimately, it’s approximately the two civilization in the case in whichsuki da is being said to interpret its meaning.


Suki da is pronounced lot like how it looks: soo-KEE-dah. However, keep in mind that the "u" sound after ~ the initial "s" is very, very subtle—so much so that it’s regularly dropped completely, making the word sound much more like the English word"ski" v a "dah" tagged top top the end.

UsageAs discussed above, there space a couple of sport of suki da, consisting of suki da yo 好きだよ and also suki yo 好きよ. The former is a much more masculine and an ext casual method of expressing her love because that or interest in someone, vice versa, the latter one (without the "da") is a very feminine expression.You could also use the phrase, "Suki desu 好きです," i beg your pardon is just a more formal way of saying you choose someone (when command at them).It’s perfectly herbal to usage the adjectivesuki(like)to define your general likes (and dislikes). because that instance, you could say to someone, "Neko ga sukiネコが好き," meaning, "I choose cats." There"s no implication below that you"re in love v cats or desire to date pets (which would certainly be reason for concern!).


#3: Daisuki da 大好きだ = ns Really favor You

This next way to say, "I love you," in Japanese is pretty similar to the one we looked at above; the only difference is the enhancement of the character dai 大, meaning "big" or, in this case, "really (like)." because of the presence ofdai,daisuki daisa small stronger and much more direct thansuki da.

By speak the phrase,"Daisuki da (yo)," come someone,you"re essentially saying, "I really like you," "I choose you a lot," or "I really favor being v you."

But, together we discussed above with the adjective suki, daisuki dacan also mean something depth than simply "like"andcould be implied to median something closer come the English expression "I love you" depending upon both the context and person.


Daisuki da is pronounce the same as suki da above, just this time you’ll be adding the syllable dai prior to it, i m sorry sounds practically identical to the English words "die" / "dye." so the joint is basically DYE-ski-dah. Be certain to put much more emphasis top top the initial valuation dai.

UsageLike suki da, there space some sports ofdaisuki da:daisuki da yo 大好きだよ and also daisuki yo 大好きよ.The previous is a more masculine and an ext casual means of saying that you (really) choose and/or love someone, whereas the last (without the "da") is an ext feminine.The phrase daisuki da or daisuki is not minimal to romantic understand or people and can be supplied to express your enthusiasm for points such together food, objects, animals, activities, sports, etc. Because that instance, you might say, "Ryokō daisuki 旅行大好き," an interpretation "I really choose traveling" or "I love traveling."

#4: Suki yanen 好きやねん = I like Ya

This final method you can say, "Ilike you/I love you," in Japanese is fun and also slangy. The expression suki yanen 好きやねん, which translates around into something favor "I like ya!" isfrom the Kansai, or Osakan, language in Japanese, which is well-known for gift bubbly, direct, and also a little goofy.

Like the paragraph suki da and also daisuki dawe explained above, you must only say, "Suki yanen," to someone you’re romantically interested in or want to date; however, this phrase is certainly less serious and also therefore makes because that a much much more lighthearted method of expressing your feelings for someone.


The pronunciation of suki yanen is nice much how it looks, except with the suki component sounding much more like the English "ski" (as explained above). Yanen is pronounce yah-nen.

UsageIf the person you’re interested in is indigenous Osaka or the Kansai an ar in general, that a safe bet to usage the phrase suki yanen, specifically if you’d fairly express your feelings in a much less serious way.Suki yanen is also the brand surname of a popular ramen in Japan, so be conscious that if someone is making use of this phrase, they might be talking about a kind of noodle—not confessing your love because that you!


4 necessary Tips because that Saying, "I Love You," in Japanese

Now the we’ve gone end the 4 main ways you can say, "I love you," in Japanese, that time to give yousome crucial tips on exactly how to normally express her love inthis exceptional language.

#1: as soon as in Doubt, usage Suki da

Even despite ai shiteru is arguably words that is most comparable to the English phrase "I love you," it’s rarely, if ever, stated in Japanese to someone and isn’t provided on a casual, daily basis.

This is why, in general, if you’re hoping to express your love or romantic attention in someone, it’s best to go with either suki da or daisuki da,since these phrases are supplied a lot much more often and entail a variety of emotions, indigenous a small crush to a big, passionate love for someone.

So if you’re ever in doubt, use a sports of suki da—and use ai shiteru sparinglyor no at all.

#2: Err on Casual

Japanesediffers native English in the it has actually several level of formality you have the right to use depending upon the situation, the speaker, and the listener.

When saying, "I love you," in Japanese, you’ll likely be speak it to someone you know pretty well, so it renders sense to stick v the casual forms of the words above (all words room written in your casual develops already).

You’ll typically want to avoid using verbs in your masu ます form.It’s far an ext natural come say, "Ai shiteru," 보다 it is tosay, "Ai shiteimasu," orthe slightly an ext formal variation of "I love you." The only time you can use this kind would be when you’reasking who to marry you.

#3: don’t Worry around Pronouns

If you’re new to Japanese, you could be puzzled by the unit volume above, which don"t contain any kind of subjects, objects, or pronouns in them. The factor for this is that subjects and often objects are generally implied in the Japanese language.As a result, you don’t typically need to specify whom you love. As long as she looking in ~ the person and also saying the phrase directly, her intentions will be clear.

Even despite Google analyze would literally translate the English phrase, "I love you" together "Watashi wa anata o ai shiteimasu私はあなたを愛しています," wherein watashi method "I" and anata means "you," this is a an extremely stiff, cluttered way of expressing her love in Japanese.

When it comes down to it, just focus on the verbs/adjectives, as these are what matter the most!

#4: discover to adopt Silence

As a last tip, remember that in Japanese culture—specifically as soon as it comes to expressing feel of love in Japanese—silence isn’t always bad. Often, it’s much more natural than saying, "I love you."

If she the shy form and don’t favor the idea of heralding your love for this reason directly, you mightbe an ext successfulat mirroring your emotions with charitable, romantic, and also thoughtful actions. This is a nice "Japanese" way of to express love, for this reason it’s certainly not abnormal.

On a similar note, if you tell her Japanese partner you love them and they don’t respond at every or merely say, "Thank you," don’t take the lack of one "I love you, too" personally. quiet doesn"t necessarily mean they don’t love girlfriend back—just that saying "I love you" can not in reality be the most herbal actionfor them come take.

What’s Next?

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