Romantic phrases in German

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It is a pretty common stereotype we are used to hearing- Germans are cold, German is harsh and Germans have no feelings blah blah blah. But believe it or not- Germans are human beings too and fall in love like you and me!

It wouldn't be a bad idea to be acquainted with a few romantic German phrases to impress your newfound German crush! 🙂 or just simply to comprehend terms of affection.

Ich liebe dich. (I love you.)

This is it. The essential phrase. The “three little words.”

Opinions are divided on this just as they are in English, but I advise you to take this phrase seriously and use it with care. You might love baseball or chocolate or shopping (Ich liebe Baseball, Schokolade and Einkaufen, respectively), but declaring your love for another person is a big deal. German speakers of a younger generation, especially girls, will often say this among friends, but it’s not something you should ever say to someone you just met.

2. Ich hab’ dich lieb. (Love ya.)

If you want to express affinity without the full impact of the “three little words,” here’s your alternative.

Phrase dictionaries may translate the phrase as “I love you,” but it’s less formal. I’d equate it to something like “love ya” based on the connotation. This sentence is fine to say to close friends, family members and romantic interests alike. 

3. Willst du mein Freund/meine Freundin sein? (Do you want to be my boyfriend/girlfriend?)

The word Freund can mean either a platonic male friend or a boyfriend, and Freundin can mean either a platonic female friend or a girlfriend. Context is everything.

However, if you’re directly asking someone to be your Freund/in, the context is clear. This is one of the most straightforward ways of asking someone to start a romantic relationship with you.

If you’re looking to make the context clear to distinguish your platonic friends, you can always refer to someone as “ein Freund/eine Freundin von mir” (a friend of mine) rather than “mein Freund/meine Freundin.” Just remember to keep the genders straight too!

4. Willst du mit mir gehen? (Do you want to go out with me?)

If you’re looking to avoid the context- and gender-specific pitfalls of “Willst du mein Freund sein?”, then this informal sentence is for you. This question refers to dating someone, either in the sense of simply going on a date or in the sense of having a relationship. Nena, of 99 Luftballons fame, used it as the title of her thirteenth album.

5. Schatz, Liebling, Kuschelbär (pet names)

When I have listened to romantic German, it’s usually Schatz, which literally translates to “treasure/ sweetheart.” Liebling translates to “favorite” or “beloved,” while Kuschelbär means “cuddle bear.”

6. Ich bin bis über beide Ohren verliebt. (I’m head over heels in love.)

Literally translated, this sentence means “I’m in love until over both ears,” but then the English version of being “head over heels” isn’t the most logical either. (When is your head ever under your heels?) As idioms without direct translations, their meaning is the same: you really, really, really like someone.

7. Ich steh’ auf dich. (I’m into you.)

This is another loosely translated idiom for what literally involves the verb stehen, to stand. Be careful to use the accusative dich in this sentence rather than the dative dir. The latter would literally mean you’re standing on top of someone!

This phrase has a slightly stronger sexual connotation than simply saying you like or love something or someone. As a result, you’d never say something like “Ich steh’ auf meine Oma” (I’m into my grandmother). Be careful with this phrase.

8. Du bist die Liebe meines Lebens. (You’re the love of my life.)

This is the most sentimental phrase on the list and, due to its intensity, it’s not one you’re likely to hear often. Its translation is literal and its meaning is strong. If you feel the need to get this feeling off your chest auf Deutsch, you now know how.

9. Du hast wunderschöne Augen. (You have beautiful eyes.)

This phrase works equally well as a sweet compliment to your significant other and as a pick-up line in the club. As usual, it’s all about the context.

10. Küss mich. (Kiss me.)

Here we see our only imperative or command form on the list: kiss me! Command forms in German are easy to use because the du-form usually just involves removing the –en from the verb, which here would be küssen (to kiss). If you’re looking to be a little less direct and demanding, “Kann ich einen Kuss haben?” (“Can I have a kiss?”) will get you the same result… if you’re lucky, that is.

Referenced from: FluentU Blog

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