Have you recently found your heart fluttering for a Swedish cutie?
Or maybe you simply want to broaden your romance vocabulary? After all, love is a universal language.
Learning how to express your feelings in Swedish is not only beneficial when dating a Swede, but also useful for future travels, relationships, and communicating love in general.
We’ll explore some accessible ways to say “I love you” in Swedish and provide a list of useful phrases so that you can profess your affection in this beautiful language.
How to say ‘I like you’ in Swedish
In Swedish, there are two different verbs that both mean to like something or someone: ‘gilla’ and ‘tycka om.’
Although these two words are synonyms, they have slightly different meanings in certain contexts. In most cases, they mean the exact same thing and can be used interchangeably. Let’s take coffee, for example.
‘Jag gillar kaffe’ and ‘jag tycker om kaffe’ both mean ‘I like coffee.’
Now, here’s the difference between them: when expressing like towards a person, the verb ‘tycker om’ tends to sound more romantic. Here’s an example of this:
‘Jag gillar dig’ = I like you (as a person, as a friend, or perhaps someone you’ve just met.)
‘Jag tycker om dig’ = I like you, but in a more affectionate way. You would say ‘jag tycker om dig’ when you are developing feelings for someone.
The word ‘love’ in Swedish
There are quite a few words that translate to ‘love’ in Swedish. For example: ‘älskar,’ ‘kärlek,’ and ‘kär.’
The difference between them? ‘Älskar’ is a verb, ‘kärlek’ is a noun, and ‘kär’ is an adjective. Let’s go through the examples:
For the verb ‘älskar’ we have ‘jag älskar dig.’ This directly translates to ‘I love you.’ You can use this in all contexts: with family, friends, and relationships. You can also ‘jag älskar’ to express love towards something such as an object or a place. For example, ‘jag älskar kaffe’ (I love coffee).
‘Kärlek,’ is the Swedish word for love.
If you think you’ve found “the one,” you can tell them ‘du är mitt livs kärlek.’
This directly translates to ‘you are the love of my life’ and is pretty cheesy. But it if it works, it works!
‘Kär’ is mostly used when expressing that you are in love with someone. The phrase ‘jag är kär i dig’ simply means ‘I am in love with you.’
If you want to ask someone if they’re in love, you would say ‘är du kär?’
Other ways to say ‘I love you’ in Swedish
|English phrase||Swedish translation|
|I love you so much||Jag älskar dig så mycket|
|I love you a lot||Jag älskar dig mycket|
|I love you more||Jag älskar dig mer|
|You are my love||Du är min kärlek|
Pet names and terms of endearment in Swedish
If you want to impress your Swedish sweetheart, use one (or all) of the following terms of endearment. You will be sure to win their heart!
Älskling is one of the most common nicknames used by significant others. You may notice that it looks quite similar to the word ‘älska’ which we learned means ‘to love.’ The closest translation to ‘älskling’ is lovey, darling, or honey.
It’s pretty usual to hear parents calling their children älskling as well.
Kära means ‘dear’ or ‘love.’ It is closely related to another word we already learned: Kärlek. You could call someone ‘min kära’ which means ‘my dear’ or ‘my love.’
Sötis and sötnos are synonyms that mean ‘cutie’ or ‘sweetie’; both stem from the word ‘söt’ which directly translates to ‘cute.’
Hjärtat directly translates to ‘(the) heart,’ but can be used in contexts such as: ‘mitt hjärta’ or ‘hjärtat mitt’ which means ‘my heart.’
Raring is a fairly popular pet name as well although some may say it is old-fashioned, the closest translation would be ‘darling.’
Literally translates to ‘old man’ and ‘old woman.’ Yes, these are common pet names. Gubben and gumman can be used towards your loved one, friends (typically among girls), as well as children (‘lille gubbe’ = ‘little fellow.’) It may sound silly, but Swedes love using these, especially when talking to young kids!
Bonus romantic words and phrases in Swedish
|English phrase||Swedish translation|
|My everything||Mitt allt|
|I miss you||Jag saknar dig|
|I think you’re cute||Jag tycker att du är söt|
|I have a crush on you||Jag är i förtjust i dig|
|I am crazy about you||Jag är galen i dig|
|You are so beautiful||Du är så vacker|
|You are so handsome||Du är så snygg|
|Do you want to go on a date with me?||Vill du gå på dejt med mig?|
|Will you marry me?||Vill du gifta dig med mig?|
|Kiss||Kyss (or puss)|
|Cuddle up (on a sofa, for example)||Mys|
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The Swedish alphabet explained
Swedish for beginners