JimBob asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

What is the difference between "Te amo" and "Te quiero"?

I have been learning Spanish for about three years and none of the text books or lessons explain the difference between these, too. I know they both mean " I love you".

12 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A lot of confused people about this issue...

    Actually when I was in college there was a Japanese girl writing a thesis on this issue: how in other languages there's two ways to say I love you; one more fraternal and another one more passionate, while in English there's only The One dreaded "L" word...

    "Te amo" means I love you (passionate or intense love). You usually tell this to your lover or somebody you are romantically involved with. It would also be ok to tell this to your parents, children etc. You can also use it to say you REALLY love something, for example "Amo el golf"= I love golf. If you just “like” golf you would say "me gusta el golf"

    "Te quiero" also means I love you but it is more casual, you can tell this to a friend and it would mean friendly love, not sexual in any way. However, you can say "te quiero" to your lover and it would still mean I love you.

    To say either "te quiero" or "te amo" does not have the same connotation for native Spanish speakers as it does for Americans; it doesn't mean “I want to marry you”. Maybe that's why we are not afraid to tell everyone we love them.

    If you want to say "I want you", you would say "te deseo" .

    "Te deseo" just by itself means "I want you". But if you combine it with something else like "te deseo un feliz viaje", you are just wishing somedody a good trip.

    "Quiero" can also mean I want, but in a totally different context, for example "quiero salir a caminar"= I want to go for a walk. “Quiero comprar un perro”= I want to buy a dog. If you say "TE quiero", just by itself, you are telling somebody you love them and/or you like them. You are NOT telling them you want them.

    Love is confusing... ;-)

    Source(s): Native language
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Pamela
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Te quiero literally translate into I want you but from what I've heard it is used among family & friends and also maybe pets but Te Amo is I love you but is used for boyfriends,girlfriends,husband and wife but the both basically mean the same thing but on a different level. I tell my friend Te quiero all the time.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Te amo and te quiero are both I love you but with different meaning and intensity. You can say te quiero to somebody you care about or a friend. It also means I want to..for example. Te quiero comprar zapatos means I want to buy you shoes. So te quiero can also mean I want you...but not in an entirely sexual form.

    Source(s): Soy mexicana
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    As with many words/phrases in Spanish, it all has to do with context and the way of saying the phrase. Te amo is I love you, is stronger and when said to another person it can signify romantic passionate love, when said to a family member it is a more meaningful 'I love you'. Te quiero is a more casual "I love you", but CAN also mean I want you, however, you can probably imagine in what context that has to be said. In my opinion (as with the rest of this answer) Te amo=I love you Te quiero=I like you

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    Te amo is intense love. Te quiero means I love you, but is more like liking the person, not as intense, in my opinion.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Jassy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I like you =me gustas

    I love you=te amo, te quiero

    "Te amo" is only used by lovers.

    "Te quiero" is for anyone you really like (family, friends, lover..)

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • te amo means i love you.

    te quiero doesnt mean i love you, it means i like you very much.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with the above. My girlfriend in Spain explained it to me so we wouldn´t have any confusion when she said it.

    Te amo: I love you. (l-word)

    Te quiero: I like you a lot.

    Also, check out the resource below from a forum, it should clarify even the comment further above that says that querer means just to want someone

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Te amo = I love you. Te quiero = I want you.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Te quiero does not mean I love you. It has a sexual meaning - more like "I want you". You would NOT say this to mean "I love you."

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.