How to say “I love you” in Japanese
When you learn other languages, most people learn how to say “I love you ” in the language, right? I don’t think it is just my personal opinion. I know how to say “I love you” in French and Chinese in spite of the fact that I cannot speak them. I will tell you how to say it in Japanese!
“I love you”… Here are the examples, please look at them below.
- (わたしは)あなたのことが好きです。/(わたしは)あなたが好きです。・・・This is natural and may be used in every day situations.
- (わたしは)あなたのことを愛しています。/(わたしは)あなたを愛しています。・・・This is okay, but is a little too heavy or dramatic. The verb, 愛しています is too direct for Japanese or me personally in general day to day situations.
If you have someone in mind and want to say “I love you” to that person, be careful! As I mentioned above, roughly speaking there are 2 types of way to say “I love you”; 「あなたが好きです。」 and 「あなたを愛しています。」.
I do not want you to confuse が and を! If you screw up and say, “あなたは好きです。”, you would be asked “I like …what?”
Let’s analyze the grammar of “あなたは好きです。” 「あなた+は」 is the subject. 「好きです」 is the verb, so the sentence is not incorrect and is missing the object, like “You like….”. So you might be asked “Oh you know my hobby?” or “I like …what?”
Furthermore, “あなたは好きです” is also understood like”You are fine”, or “I like you”. As I explained “The Difference between は and が” on the last entry, “Noun+が” has more passion than “Noun+は”, so “あなたは好きです” can be understood as a just information, not as “love”.
But wait! Who says “you are fine/ I like you” to you directly? In which situation? So If someone says “あなたは好きです” to me, I would guess that the speaker wants to consult with me about his/her problem about their relationship with a specific person, like “あなたは好きです、でも彼は意地悪です。”meaning” I like you but he is mean”. Of course it depends on the situation and the context! So I cannot say “This means A, This means B”, but “あなたは好きです” is not common expression for me so I tried to imagine the appropriate situations!
Anyways, please be careful when you say “I love you”, otherwise the person would ask you”I like …what?” or “Oh okay, then who do you have a trouble with?”
Having a significant other can help your language skills and now you got the correct way to say that! Good Luck!
Taka, Aquarium manager