The Meaning of the Italian “Amore”

Key Takeaways

Discover the romantic meaning of amore and how to express love in Italian, including slang and affectionate terms.

  • The English translation of amore is “love”, used to express strong feelings for people, animals, and passions.
  • Use amore with partners, children, or pets; avoid using it with friends or family unless being ironic.
  • To say “I love you” in Italian, use ti amo for partners and ti voglio bene for friends or relatives.
  • Other verbs like piacere and adorare can express love for hobbies, subjects, or people.
  • Learn slang terms derived from amore, such as fare l’amore (to make love) and amoreggiare (to flirt).

Quick facts

What does "amore" mean in English?

"Amore" translates to "love" in English, capturing deep affection.

How is "amore" commonly used in Italian?

"Amore" is used to express strong feelings for partners, children, and pets.

Can "amore" be used ironically in Italian?

Yes, in Central Italy, "amore" can be shortened to "amò" and used sarcastically among friends.

How would you say "I love you" in Italian?

"I love you" translates to "ti amo" in Italian, using the verb "amare."

Is "amare" used for friends and family?

No, Italians use "ti voglio bene" for friends and family, reserving "ti amo" for romantic partners.

How can you express falling in love in Italian?

Use the verb "innamorarsi," as in "Mi sono innamorato di te" for "I've fallen in love with you."

What's a playful way to say "I love you" in Italian slang?

"Ti lovvo" is an ironic, playful expression derived from a mispronunciation of the English "love."

How do Italians express affection for hobbies or passions?

Italians use the verb "adorare," such as "Adoro i libri di Yu Hua" meaning "I love Yu Hua's books."

What does "fare l'amore" mean?

"Fare l'amore" is a fixed expression meaning "to make love."

How might a charismatic waitress greet someone in an Italian movie?

She might say "Tutto bene, dolcezza?" which translates to "Are you all right, honey?" in English.

My Thoughts

Amore: The Meaning

The literal translation of Amore is simply “love”. Grammatically speaking, it is a masculine singular noun, but contextually speaking, it can be used in two main ways in Italian:

  • It can be used as a simple noun:

Ha un forte amore per la musica.

He has a strong love for music.

Non pensavo di poter provare questo amore per qualcuno.

I did not think I could feel this love for someone.

  • It can also be used to address someone we love:

Amore, mi puoi dare il telecomando?

Love, can you give me the remote?

Amore, sono a casa. Come è andata la giornata?

Honey, I’m home. How was your day?

Just like in English we can use “honey” when affectionately speaking with someone, also in Italian we have other terms, but I must confess that I hardly hear them.

Some examples are dolcezza, translatable with “sweetheart”, tesoro, literally meaning “treasure”, but used in the same way as amore, or a word that I like a lot: cuore, literally meaning “heart”.

Tutto bene, cuore?

Are you all right, honey?

In some regions, especially the ones in Central Italy, you can shorten amore to the slang word amò. This one can also be used with sarcasm among friends.

Amò, prendi la margherita così la assaggio.

Amò, order margherita so I can taste it.

Ti amo profondamente.

How to say “I love you” in Italian

If you want to say “I love you” in Italian, you need to learn a new verb: amare. It’s a regular verb belonging to the first conjugation, so it will be easy to remember! Here I will show you its present tense conjugation is:

  • io amo
  • tu ami
  • lui/lei/Lei ama
  • noi amiamo
  • voi amate
  • loro amano

Whenever you deal with Italian verbs, remember that Italians usually don’t use personal pronouns – subjects – when they speak, unless they want to emphasize something.

Also, amare is a transitive verb. Just like in English, you can love someone, and that person is the direct object of the verb. This means that you can substitute the name of someone you love with a direct pronoun.

Therefore, “I love you” translates to “ti amo in Italian, where ti is the direct pronoun standing for “you”. In the same way, if you’re talking to a group of people, you can say vi amo, where vi “you plural”.

Another important verb you might want to know when expressing your feelings is innamorarsi (to fall in love). It is a reflexive verb, which means you need a reflexive pronoun that refers to the subject of the sentence, that is, the person experiencing the feeling.

Mi sono innamorata di te.

I’ve fallen in love with you.

Remember: when you use passato prossimo of reflexive verbs, the past participle must agree in gender and number with the subject. Also, notice that the verb innamorarsi requires the preposition di, which introduces the object – the person you fall in love with.

Mi sto innamorando di Luca.

I’m falling in love with Luca.

Ha un forte amore per la famiglia.

Another Way to Express “Amore” in Italian

While in English you say “I love you” to both friends and romantic partners, in Italian we use two different verbs: we use the expression volere bene a to say we love a friend.

This expression is weirdly structured, I know, that’s why I will explain it in detail.

It is composed of the verb volere (to want), the adverb bene (good), and requires the preposition a, which introduces the object – the person you love.

Literally, it can be translated as “I want good to you”, and, in fact, this is what it is meant to convey: the feeling of wishing the best to someone, because you love them.

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The preposition a introduces an indirect object, so when you want to address to your interlocutor you will need to use an indirect pronoun:

Voglio bene a Marco, è un bravo amico.
Gli voglio bene, è un bravo amico.

I love Marco, he is a good friend.
I love him, he is a good friend.

Ti voglio bene!

I love you!

Mi sono innamorato di te.

Now you can Love in Italian

Now that you know the meaning of amore, the next step is… amare. Fall in love with this beautiful language, and love the people around you. You are now able to express your feelings to romantic partners and friends, so you have no excuses!

It is not a coincidence that Italian is considered the language of love! The word amore and the ways it is used really captures the emotional landscape of the Italian love.

Its versatility mirrors the depth of the relationships it describes. Understanding amore provides not only a linguistic tool but also a cultural insight into the values and expressive nature of Italy itself.

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Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions


How do you say "I love you" in Italian?

"I love you" translates to "ti amo" in Italian. If you want to emphasize it, you can add the first person pronoun and say "Io ti amo" or turn it into "ti amo da morire"("I love you to death").

Can you use "amore" to refer to someone other than your partner, children, or pets?

No, Italians would never say "amore" to a friend or a family member without being ironic. This word is meant to be used only with your partner, children, or pets.

Italian word of the day
Non capivo più niente dal sonno.
I was so tired that I couldn’t think.
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