Feeling romantic? Then maybe you"re all set to say those three little words. However if you"re date a Japanese person, expressing your love in Japanese can obtain prettycomplicated. The reality is that there’s no simple way to say, "I love you," in Japanese together there is in English.

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for this reason what are your options?

In this article, we’ll define why expressing her love verbally isn’t particularly common in Japanese society. We"ll then introduce 4 ways you deserve to say, "I love you," in Japanese and also give you four key tipsfor accordingly expressing your love in Japanese.

Saying "I Love You" in Japanese: social Background

Before we present the various ways to say, "I love you," in Japanese, it’s necessary to understand the social background when it involves expressing love in Japanese.

In truth,it’s not nearly as typical to say, "I love you," in Japanese together it is in English and also the West much more broadly. The English sentence "I love you" is thrown roughly a lot more often and a lot an ext casually 보다 the indistinguishable Japanese phrase (if you have the right to say there truly is one!). Because that example, in English, it’s perfectly common to call your partner that girlfriend love them every day, or to finish aphone call with a quick yet heartfelt "love ya"—but this is seldom done in Japanese.

In general, Japanese—and by extension Japanese culture—is much more subtle andindirect 보다 English and also Western culture.In other words,Japanese civilization tend come abide bythe "show, don’t tell" rule when it pertains to expressing their love.

It’s far much more common because that couples, families, and friends in Japan to show their love for one another through actions, fairly than come verbally affirm it.This habit is especially true for Japanese men, who much more often tend to prevent extremely straight expressions of love.

There is additionally speculation that part (perhaps most) Japanese people feel that using the phrase "I love you" too lot will render it meaningless, i beg your pardon is why the far an ext important to display your love than it is to straight state it.

Finally, countless people think that the ide of love (particularly ai 愛) in Japanese is simply too abstractfor ordinary people to be able to grasp. In this sense, love is practically like a poetic appropriate instead ofan actual feeling one deserve to experience.

Nevertheless, Japanese civilization do periodically say, "I love you," in Japanese, so the is feasible to straight express your love in Japanese, even if doing for this reason is a lot much less common.

4 distinctive Ways to Express your Love in Japanese

In this section, we take a look in ~ four various ways you deserve to say "I love you" in Japanese.


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

The word ai shiteru 愛してる is basically the default expression for "I love you" in Japanese. That is likewise the one that arguably come closest in definition to the English expression "I love you."The character愛ai literally translates to "love," typically with the connotation the romantic love.

Of all the means you have the right to express her love in Japanese, ai shiteru isby farthe heaviest, most deeply felt way of doing so. In fact, ns would also translate the wordmore carefully to something choose "I love you deeply" or "I am deep in love through you."That’s how expressive this one indigenous is!

Because the its heartfelt connotations—and due to the fact that Japanese culture dictates that love must be expressed v actions and also gestures fairly than verbally through words—ai shiteru is hardly ever said aloud.

Normally, words is offered only in between serious lifelong lover or as soon as confessing your love because that someone for the very first time. Also in these cases, however, you"ll want to be cautious not to overuse the word. It’s truly not uncommon for married couples to never ever say, "Ai shiteru,"throughout their entire marriage!

Despite its weighty implications, you"ll frequently 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 much shorter than the looks and also sounds much more like just a fast "sh" sound. This means that the whole word sounds an ext like three syllables.

In addition, carry out not express the "roo" sound as you would an English "r." The Japanese "r" sound is more of a mix that the English "d," "r," and "l" sounds, similar to the means we express the "d" sound in the word"ladder."

The adhering to YouTube video explains how to pronounceai shiteru:

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

#2: Suki da 好きだ = I favor You

The gender-neutral phrase suki da 好きだ is provided a lot much more commonly thanai shiteru. This expression literally equates to"I choose you," yet it deserve to have more heavier implications depending upon the context, the person, and also the means it’s said. As a result,it’s feasible for a phrase as basic as suki da to average "I love you" or other closer come the English expression (though not as deep as ai shiteru).

Generally speaking, suki da (or the much more formal sports suki desu 好きです) is used to confess to somebody that you choose them (and want to day them). because that example, if you have a friend you’d really favor to date, you might say, "Suki da yo," come let them recognize you"re interested in them (I explain the usage of yo below in information below).

Because the the romantic connotations the saying, "Suki da," come someone, youshouldn"t to speak this to a purely platonic friend or acquaintance,as it might imply you’d choose to take it your relationship to the next level. However, if you were to say, "Suki da," to your romantic partner, this could very well be translated as "I love you," in spite of the reality it literally means "I favor you," particularly if it"s provided in a more serious,heartfelt way.

Ultimately, it’s as much as the two world in the situation in whichsuki da is being stated to interpret its meaning.


Suki da is pronounced lot like exactly how it looks: soo-KEE-dah. However, note that the "u" sound after ~ the early stage "s" is very, very subtle—so much so that it’s often dropped completely, making the word sound more like the English word"ski" with a "dah" tagged ~ above the end.

UsageAs pointed out above, there room a pair of sport of suki da, including suki da yo 好きだよ and suki yo 好きよ. The previous is a more masculine and more casual method of expressing her love because that or interest in someone, conversely, the latter one (without the "da") is a extremely feminine expression.You could also use the phrase, "Suki desu 好きです," i m sorry is merely a more official way of speak you choose someone (when command at them).It’s perfectly natural to use the adjectivesuki(like)to describe your basic likes (and dislikes). for instance, you could say to someone, "Neko ga sukiネコが好き," meaning, "I prefer cats." There"s no implication here that you"re in love v cats or want to date animals (which would absolutely be reason for concern!).


#3: Daisuki da 大好きだ = i Really like You

This next means to say, "I love you," in Japanese is pretty similar to the one we looked in ~ above; the only difference is the addition of the character dai 大, meaning "big" or, in this case, "really (like)." due to the fact that of the existence ofdai,daisuki daisa tiny stronger and much more direct thansuki da.

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

But, as we discussed over with the adjective suki, daisuki dacan also mean something deeper than just "like"andcould be implied to average something closer to the English expression "I love you" relying on both the context and person.


Daisuki da is express the exact same as suki da above, only this time you will do it be adding the syllable dai before it, which sounds nearly identical come the English native "die" / "dye." so the joint is basically DYE-ski-dah. Be sure to put much more emphasis on the initial syllable dai.

UsageLike suki da, there are some sport ofdaisuki da:daisuki da yo 大好きだよ and daisuki yo 大好きよ.The former is a an ext masculine and an ext casual means of saying the you (really) choose and/or love someone, vice versa, the last (without the "da") is an ext feminine.The expression daisuki da or daisuki is not minimal to romantic understanding or people and also can be supplied to to express your passion for points such as food, objects, animals, activities, sports, etc. Because that instance, you could say, "Ryokō daisuki 旅行大好き," definition "I really like traveling" or "I love traveling."

#4: Suki yanen 好きやねん = I favor Ya

This final way you can say, "Ilike you/I love you," in Japanese is fun and also slangy. The phrase suki yanen 好きやねん, i beg your pardon translates roughly into something like "I like ya!" isfrom the Kansai, or Osakan, language in Japanese, i beg your pardon is known for being bubbly, direct, and a little goofy.

Like the paragraph suki da and daisuki dawe described above, you should only say, "Suki yanen," to someone you’re romantically interested in or want to date; however, this phrase is absolutely less serious and therefore makes for a much an ext lighthearted method of expressing her feelings because that someone.


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

UsageIf the human being you’re interested in is indigenous Osaka or the Kansai region in general, that a safe bet to usage the expression suki yanen, specifically if you’d fairly express her feelings in a less serious way.Suki yanen is additionally the brand surname of a popular ramen in Japan, so be conscious that if who is utilizing this phrase, they might be talking about a form of noodle—not confessing your love for you!


4 crucial Tips for Saying, "I Love You," in Japanese

Now that we’ve gone over the 4 main methods you have the right to say, "I love you," in Japanese, it’s time to provide yousome crucial tips on exactly how to naturally express her love inthis exceptional language.

#1: once in Doubt, use Suki da

Even though ai shiteru is arguably the word that is most similar to the English phrase "I love you," it’s rarely, if ever, said in Japanese to someone and isn’t used on a casual, daily basis.

This is why, in general, if you’re hope to express her love or romantic interest in someone, it’s ideal to go v either suki da or daisuki da,since these phrases are used a lot much more often and entail a variety of emotions, indigenous a tiny crush to a big, passionate love because that someone.

So if you’re ever before in doubt, usage a sports of suki da—and use ai shiteru sparinglyor not at all.

#2: Err top top Casual

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

When saying, "I love you," in Japanese, you’ll most likely be saying it to someone you understand pretty well, so it provides sense come stick through the casual develops of the indigenous above (all words space written in their casual creates already).

You’ll typically want to stop using verbs in their masu ます form.It’s far more natural to say, "Ai shiteru," 보다 it is tosay, "Ai shiteimasu," orthe slightly much more formal version of "I love you." The only time you could use this form would be as soon as you’reasking who to get married you.

#3: nothing Worry about Pronouns

If you’re new to Japanese, you could be puzzled by the paragraph above, i beg your pardon don"t contain any type of subjects, objects, or pronouns in them. The reason for this is that subjects and also often objects are typically implied in the Japanese language.As a result, girlfriend don’t frequently need to specify whom you love. As long as she looking in ~ the person and also saying the phrase directly, her intentions will certainly 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," within watashi means "I" and anata method "you," this is a an extremely stiff, cluttered way of expressing your love in Japanese.

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

#4: discover to embrace Silence

As a final tip, remember that in Japanese culture—specifically when it pertains to expressing feeling of love in Japanese—silence isn’t always bad. Often, it’s an ext natural than saying, "I love you."

If you the shy type and don’t prefer the idea of declaring your love for this reason directly, you mightbe more successfulat mirroring your emotions v charitable, romantic, and thoughtful actions. This is a quite "Japanese" means of to express love, therefore it’s certainly not abnormal.

On a similar note, if friend tell her Japanese companion you love them and they nothing respond at every or merely say, "Thank you," don’t take it the absence of one "I love you, too" personally. silence doesn"t necessarily median they nothing love you back—just the saying "I love you" can not in reality be the most natural actionfor them come take.

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