During my days as a Spanish teacher, I saw that many of my students were very good at grammar and daily vocabulary. But when it came to using nice words to call their loved ones, they didn’t know what to do. In fact, many of them wondered what terms they could use to say ‘my love’ in Spanish.
There are different expressions and vocabulary that speakers use to say ‘my love’ in Spanish. Some of the most terms of endearment to use for this situation are:
- Mi amor
- Mi cielo
- Mi vida
- Querida / Querido
Although it breaks my heart, when it comes to learning a language, grammar is not everything. Since it might come in handy, in this article, I’ve compiled 8 popular ways to say ‘my love’ in Spanish. To help you apply this vocabulary more naturally, I’ll teach you when, with who, and how to use each of these terms.
Trust me, these expressions are going to be a perfect opportunity to use your Spanish and show some love to your significant other, close friends and family!
1. Mi amor – My love
Mi amor is the direct translation of ‘my love’ in Spanish. So, as you can imagine, this term is a very affectionate way to call a person that you care about. Even though it’s very common among couples, this Spanish term of endearment can also be used among family members, too.
In fact, here in Mexico, it’s common to use ‘mi amor’ in a non-romantic way to express some kind of affection for the other person. As a result, depending on the context, ‘mi amor’ can also be close in meaning to ‘honey’ or ‘sweetie’.
Here are some examples of how to use this expression:
[Mi amor] + [complement]
Mi amor, ¿ya terminaste tu tarea?
Honey, did you finish your homework?
¡Feliz cumpleaños, mi amor!
Happy birthday, my love!
Buenos días, mi amor, ¿qué quieres desayunar?
Good morning, my love, what do you want for breakfast?
You can also use the plural form mis amores to refer to more than one of your loved ones:
Mis perritos son mis amores.
My dogs are my love.
2. Amor – Love / Babe
Amor is another common variation that you can use to say ‘my love’ in Spanish. This expression has a more romantic connotation and, as a result, it’s more commonly used among couples. In this context, ‘amor’ can be translated as ‘love’, ‘babe’ or ‘sweetie’.
If you want to change this a little bit, you can use these variations:
- Amor mío – My love / Love of mine
- Amorcito – My love / Babe / Sweetie
- Amorchis – Babe (Popular in Mexican slang)
Amor and all of its variations can be used for both males and females.
Amor, ¿has visto mis llaves?
Babe, have you seen my keys?
Oye, amor, tu hermano te marcó hace rato.
Love, your brother called a while ago.
Mi amorchis y yo vamos a ir a Panamá.
My babe and I are going to Panama.
The last example with ‘amorchis’ might sound strange if you were to use it in English, but it sounds very natural and appropriate in Spanish.
3. Cariño – Love / Honey
Cariño is a very popular way to say ‘my love’ in Castilian Spanish. This term can be applied as an affectionate term to call the people that you care about. As a result, ‘cariño’ is close in meaning to ‘love’, ‘honey’, ‘darling’ or ‘dear’.
Although this expression can be used among couples, you can also use this word with your friends, family members, or as an affectionate way to call a person. Cari is the shortened form of ‘cariño’ and it’s a popular variation that you could use instead.
¿Estás bien, cariño? ¿Por qué lloras?
Are you okay, dear? Why are you crying?
No te preocupes, cari, yo te ayudo.
Don’t worry, honey, I’ll help you.
Cariño, voy a hacer la compra. Ahora regreso.
Love, I’m going to do groceries. I’ll be back soon.
Take Note: In standard Spanish, cariño is a feeling. So, instead of being used as a term of endearment for a loved one, we use this word to talk about feelings of love and affection.
Le tengo mucho cariño a tus papás.
I feel a lot of affection for your parents.
4. Mi cielo – Darling / My love
Now, you and I know that cielo is the direct translation of ‘heaven’. However, we also use this word as an affectionate term to call our loved ones. So, in this case, cielo or mi cielo is close in meaning to ‘honey’, ‘my love’, ‘darling’ or ‘dear’.
With this meaning, ‘mi cielo’ is more commonly used among couples or as a lovable way of parents calling their children. But, don’t be surprised if a sweet person calls you ‘mi cielo’ in a store or in the street.
Depending on what you like the most, you can use mi cielo or cielo and, just like other words from this list, you don’t need to change the gender of the word.
Cielo, tu abuelita te mando estas galletas.
Darling, Granny sent you these cookies.
¿Cómo te sientes, mi cielo?
How are you feeling, my love?
Hola, mi cielo, voy a llegar un poco tarde.
Hi, honey, I’m going to be a little bit late.
If you follow social media, you may have noticed that there are a lot of memes with the expression pues no, mi ciela. This expression is just a funny way to say ‘no, honey’. Although ‘cielo’ doesn’t have a feminine form, notice that in this case this rule is being ignored for the purpose of the meme.
Take Note: Aside from working as a nickname, cielo can also be used as an adjective to describe a sweet and kind person. In this context, this word means ‘sweetheart’ and it can be used to describe both men and women.
Eres un cielo, muchas gracias.
You’re such a sweetheart thank you very much.
5. Corazón – My love / Sweetie
Another common word that you can use to say ‘my love’ in Spanish is corazón. Like other terms, this word can have a romantic and cute meaning if you use it to call your significant other. But you can also use it as an affectionate way to call other people.
When used as a Spanish term of endearment, corazón is close in meaning to ‘my love’, ‘honey’ or ‘sweetie’. Here are some examples of to use it:
Hola, corazón, ¿en qué te puedo ayudar?
Hi, honey, how can I help you?
Oye, corazón, acuérdate de hablarle a Joaquín.
My love, don’t forget to call Joaquin.
Corazón, no hagas ruido porque tu hermana está durmiendo.
Sweetie, don’t make noise because your sister is sleeping.
Take Note: in other contexts, ‘corazón’ is the direct translation of ‘heart’ and it can also be used to talk about the ‘core’ or ‘center’ of something.
Este es el corazón de la ciudad.
This is the center of the city.
6. Mi vida – Honey / My life
In Spanish, mi vida is a nice option if you don’t want to use ‘mi amor’. When used as an affectionate way to call someone, ‘mi vida’ can be translated as ‘my life’, ‘my love’, ‘honey’ or ‘sweetheart’.
On top of being a very romantic way to call their significant other, Spanish speakers also use this expression as an affectionate way to call their children. Here are some examples of how to apply it:
Mi vida, tu papá te dejó esto.
My love, your dad left you this.
Lo siento, mi vida, no quería lastimarte.
I’m sorry, honey, I didn’t mean to hurt you.
Mi vida, ¿me ayudas a abrir esto?
My life, can you help me open this?
Hola, mi vida, ¿cómo estuvo tu día?
Hi, sweetheart, how was your day?
7. Bebé – Babe / Baby
As the direct translation of ‘babe’ or ‘baby’, bebé is another option that you can use instead of ‘mi amor’. This Spanish term of endearment is very common among young couples, but also girls use it as a cute name to call their girlfriends.
Te amo mucho, bebé.
I love you very much, babe.
Bebé, ¿cuándo vamos a ir al cine?
Baby, when are we going to the movies?
No, bebé, hoy no puedo porque voy a salir tarde.
No, baby, I can’t today because I’m going to finish late.
Although ‘babe’ or ‘baby’ is a common and affectionate way to call your boyfriend or girlfriend in English, in Spanish, bebé is more suitable for teen couples. More mature couples can use amor or mi amor instead.
8. Querida – Darling
Querida and its masculine form querido are other Spanish terms of endearment that you can use to call a loved one. These terms are slightly more formal than words from this list and, as result, they’re more common in movies, books or very formal situations.
Notice that, in this case, you have to use either the feminine or the masculine form depending on who you’re talking to. ‘Querido’ and ‘querida’ can be translated as ‘dear’ or ‘darling’ and they can be used among couples.
Querida, tu mamá te trajo esta bolsa.
Darling, your mom brought you this bag.
Mira, querido, te compré esta camisa.
Look, dear, I bought you this shirt.
Ya me voy, querida, te veo más tarde.
I’m leaving, darling, see you later.
Take Note: As the direct translation of ‘dear’, both querido and querida can be used as an affectionate greeting on a letter or email. In casual situations, these terms are informal terms to say ‘lover’.
When it comes to different ways to call your loved one, there are plenty of nicknames and terms that you can use. However, for non-creative people like me, mi amor and expressions like that never get old.
For that reason, in this article, we’ve learned different ways to say ‘my love’ in Spanish. All of these terms of endearment are common and standard, so you can use them in different Spanish-speaking countries.
Now, you’re ready to start using these terms with your loved ones! Good luck!