Ti-amo

Italian Love Phrases

The Difference between Ti Amo and Ti Voglio Bene

A Guest Post by Valeria Biancalani

Valentine's Day is coming, and you may be eager to discover new Italian love phrases (nuove frasi d'amore in italiano) to impress your partner. Let's start with a basic concept that can be a bit tricky: the difference between "ti amo" and "ti voglio bene."  These two expressions of endearment (queste due espressioni di affetto) are sometimes confused, and this can lead to many misunderstandings (molti equivoci). That's why it's important to know how to use them.

Ti amo

Ti amo can be translated as "I love you,"  and it is generally used in a romantic context between loving couples. Remember that if someone says "ti amo" to you and the feeling is mutual (il sentimento è reciproco), the correct answer is "Anch'io" (me too). On the other hand, if you don't feel the same, you may say "Io non ti amo, mi dispiace" (I don't love you, I'm sorry) or "Non ti amo più" (I don't love you anymore).

There are some other romantic phrases (altre frasi romantiche) that you can use with your partner to emphasize your love, as for example:

    *Ti amo da morire — I love you to death.

    *Ti amo con tutto il mio cuore — I love you with all of my heart.

    *Ti amo più della mia vita — I love you more than life itself.

*Ti voglio bene

Ti voglio bene can also be translated as "I love you" but with a different meaning.  Ti voglio bene is not used in a romantic context, but just between friends (amici), parents and children (genitori e figli), siblings (fratelli/sorelle), etc. Other Italian phrases that you can use to show affection are:

     *Ti voglio tanto bene or ti voglio un mondo di bene — I  love you so much.

     *TVB or TVTB —  Friends and teenagers usually shorten "ti voglio bene" or "ti voglio tanto bene" by writing the acronyms TVB or TVTB.

Click here to watch a video and learn more about the difference between these ways of saying "I love you."

Valeria Biancalani is an Italian teacher and the founder of Parlando Italiano, an Italian language school that offers Italian lessons online with native and qualified tutors.

Dianne Hales is the author of LA BELLA LINGUA: My Love Affair with Italian, the World's Most Enchanting Language and MONA LISA: A Life Discovered.