Who says you’re not going to fall in love, or at least in lust, next time you come to France? And if you’re already in love, that’s ok! It’s always fun to know!
Let’s begin with a few simple yet necessary expressions
To fall in love is tomber amoureux
I fell in love with you = Je suis tombée amoureuse de vous
A man would say Je suis tombé amoureux de vous
Love at first sight = Un coup de foudre
I have a crush on Raphaël Enthoven = J’ai le béguin pour pour Raphaël Enthoven
Now, how to talk about your (male) partner
When I was a kid, people used petit copain or petit ami for boyfriend and petite copine or petite amie for girlfriend, but no one really says that anymore plus it’s really just for children and teenagers. Now you hear them say just copain for boyfriend or copine for girlfriend, which can be confusing because copain can just be a friend who happens to be a boy and copine can just be a friend who happens to be a girl.
How old is your daughter’s boyfriend? = Quel âge a le copain de ta fille?
How old is your son’s girlfriend? = Quel âge a la copine de ton fils?
After you’re passed teenage years, and now that marriage is no longer a social obligation, the vocabulary had to expand as we are no longer necessarily talking about your husband or your wife. So if you’re referring to your man partner, you could say mon mari my husband but if you’re not married you can say mon compagnon even though it sounds a little heavy. If you want to sound more… sexy and dynamic you might say mon homme: my man.
I’m going out with my man tonight = Je sors avec mon homme ce soir
When a woman says mon homme, you can be sure she is proud of him, she’s in love.
She can also say mon chéri or mon amoureux, which also clearly shows she is in love but these last two are quite playful so you wouldn’t talk about your chéri or your amoureux with your boss for instance. But you would with your friends.
Now, how to talk about your (female) partner
Now, what I said about mon homme is not true for ma femme. A man who would say ma femme sounds bad, vulgar, and condescending. To help you grasp this, in English it would be in the style of “What are you doing here woman?”
It’s sometimes used by young men who want to show off and sound all tough and macho. Now the strange thing here is that femme also means wife so you could say the exact same words, ma femme, yet if it’s obvious you’re talking about your wife, then it’s totally fine! So if you’re not married and you want to sound serious, you’d say ma compagne. And if you don’t have to sound serious, you could say ma chérie ou mon amoureuse, the closest would be my sweetheart.
Ok now for some lust & love expressions
I think of you all the time = Je pense à toi tout le temps
I can no longer concentrate = Je n’arrive plus à me concentrer
I see you everywhere = Je te vois partout
I’ve got you under my skin = Je t’ai dans la peau
Kiss me = Embrasse-moi
I’m in love with you = Je suis amoureuse de toi, or amoureux de toi if you’re a man
I’m crazy about you = Je suis folle de toi, or fou de toi if you’re a man
And now 3 tips. 3 things to be very careful about
Tip # 1
The word envie is interesting in French as it can mean several different things and not just “envy” as you might think when you see it. For instance, if you say to someone J’ai envie de toi you’re not saying I envy you, which would be Je t’envie. J’ai envie de toi means I want you, sexually. Now don’t end up saying I envy you when you want to say I want you or vice versa.
It’s also not the same meaning as when you say J’ai envie de lire, I feel like reading. As a general rule, j’ai envie de + infinitive is I feel like doing something. I feel like reading, I feel like running, anything. You could say J’ai envie de t’embrasser = I feel like kissing you
Tip # 2
Be very careful with the word baiser. You will come across very differently whether you use baiser as a noun or as a verb. The noun un baiser is a kiss, and a lovely, a little old fashion, romantic way to say a kiss. The verb baiser means to f*ck. Just saying… Make sure you’re in the right context!
Tip # 3
Do not, under any circumstances, pronounce these words: Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir? You wouldn’t believe how many men have said that to me when I lived in the UK and then in the US thinking they were being both funny & original. It’s neither of these things… trust me!
And we’re done for today! What else could you say? Or what else would you have liked to learn how to say? Let us know in the comments!