FRENCH is a romance language, and what is more romantic than those three little words: I love you? So how do you say I love you in French? The short answer is: Je t’aime.
Je (pronounced zhe, like the letter ‘s’ in the word ‘pleasure’ put together with the vowel sound in the word ‘wood’) stands for the first person pronoun I.
T’aime (pronounced tem) is actually two words. Te (pronounced on its own as tuh) means you. Aime (pronounced em) means I love.
Aime is the first person indicative of the infinitive verb aimer, which is a regular -er verb in the French language. It means to love but it also means to like. Therefore it is used much the way English speakers use the word love to reflect affection towards all sorts of things – I love ice cream, I love skiing, I love the Twilight movies, I love my little sister, I love my husband.
Now that you have learned how to say I love you in French, there is more to it. While you can say J’aime Londres, which translates into I love London, and also j’aime mon frere, meaning I love my brother, to use aimer to mean that you like someone, have affection for, are fond of, and other such less-than-romantic feelings, you have to tack on another word that will lessen the love, so to speak, of the verb on its own.
The word assez (pronounced ah-say) literally means enough and rather. But in J’aime assez Antoine, it makes the phrase mean I kind of like Antoine, or I like Antoine well enough. Another word you can use is bien (pronounced byan), which means good. J’aime bien Monique simply says that you like Monique.
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