The meaning of amore: English translation and more

The meaning of Amore

Dean Martin has made it pretty clear to everyone in the world that when the moon hits your eyes like a big pizza pie, That’s Amore.

But what’s the meaning of amore? It’s time to learn a very romantic Italian word.

What does amore mean in Italian

The meaning of amore

The English meaning of Amore is simply “love“. What a beautiful word, isn’t it? As a noun, it is used just to express a strong feeling for people, animals, and passions.

Ha un forte amore per la musica.

He has a strong love for music.

You can also use it to say my love in Italian, or as a pet name for your partner/children.

Amore mio!

My love!

Ehi, amore, sono a casa. Come è andata la giornata?

Hey, honey, I’m home. How was your day?

In some regions, especially the ones in Central Italy, you can shorten amore to the slang word amò. This one can also be used as a joke or sarcastically between friends.

Guarda questo video, amò. Siamo proprio noi!

Amò, look at this video. That’s definitely us!

Amò, che vuoi che ti dica. È così e basta!

Amò, what do you want me to say. That’s the way things are!

However, there are some differences in how Italian use this noun. For instance, 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 – unless you want to sound really weird.

Intuitively enough, this applies to all the other situations in which an English would say “love” to someone.

I’m thinking of all those clichéd movie scenes in which the protagonist enters a bar and the strong, charismatic waitress behind the counter says: “You all right, love?“.

In that case, the standard translation used in Italian dubbings is:

“Tutto bene, dolcezza?”

“Are you all right, honey?”

how to say I love you in Italian 1

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 easy to remember, as its only difference with amore is an “a” in the middle. It’s an -are verb and its present tense conjugation is:

  • Io amo
  • Tu ami
  • Lui/Lei/Esso ama
  • Noi amiamo
  • Voi amate
  • Essi amano

Now, remember that:

  1. Italians don’t use pronouns when they speak in the first person unless they want to emphasize something, and
  2. They distinguish between second person singular and second person plural, and the object pronouns for “you” in Italian are “ti” and “vi“.

So, “I love you” translates to “ti amo in Italian. If you want to emphasize it (e.g: when you’re about to propose to someone) 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”).

Also, if you’re talking to a group of people, it becomes “vi amo“, or “vi amo tutti” (“I love y’all”).

IMPORTANT: Do you remember what I wrote about calling someone “love” in Italian? Well, that applies to the verb amare, too. Unlike in English, an Italian doesn’t normally say “ti amo” to friends or relatives. So, if you’re talking to someone that isn’t your partner, the right way to say “I love you” is “ti voglio bene – which is a standard expression of affection.

If you’ve just started having feelings for someone, you can use the verb innamorarsi (“to fall in love”) or piacere (“to like”).

Credo che Vincenzo stia iniziando a piacermi.

I think I’m starting to like Vincenzo.

Mi sono innamorato di te.

I’ve fallen in love with you.

And what if you like someone the way you like someone from work or your partner’s friends. In that case, Italians make no distinction.

After all, you can easily guess by context what people mean when they say they like someone.

Synonyms of amore

Other ways to express love in Italian

You already know that you can use piacere instead of amare to express love in Italian. Another verb you can use is “adorare” – “to adore something”.

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If you want to express a passion for a hobby, a subject, or even people, you can say things like:

Adoro i libri di Yu Hua! Li ho letti tutti!

I love Yu Hua’s books. I’ve read them all!

Ho adorato Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker”!

I’ve loved Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker”!

Mi piace il cinema.

I love movies.

The verb adorare is also used as a slang, playful word in the Italian LGBTQIA community.


I love it!

slang words to express love in Italian

Italian slang words related to amore

As you can guess, there are other love-related words that derive from amore, especially slang terms, such as:

  • fare l’amore (to make love) – fixed expression;
  • amoreggiare (to flirt) – verb;
  • amoreggiamento (fooling around) – noun, masculine;
  • amorazzo (a gross love affair) – noun, masculine;
  • ti lovvo(an ironic way of saying “I love you” as a joke, derived from a playful mispronunciation of the English verb) – fixed expression;

Of course, there are also non-slang words that derive from amore, such as amorevolezza (“affection”), or amorevole (“caring”).

Tell your partner you love them in Italian

Now you can say I love you in the language of Love

Now you know what’s the meaning of amore and how to tell someone “I love you” in Italian, and you’ve also gained a better understanding of a classic song!

You’re ready for your next romantic adventure, or to surprise your partner with the words I taught you.

And while you work on that, remember to keep checking this blog to learn new Italian words that you can use in everyday life. See you soon! 🙂

Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!


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