Love is magical, and every time we tell someone we love them, we get to share in that magic. Ask the Arabs about love!
There are so many ways to say “I love you” in Arabic, and it’s not just reserved for your significant other. On the contrary, Arabs use expressions of love almost every day — also with people of the same sex (with whom they have only a friendly relationship).
So don’t be surprised if you hear someone using allegedly romantic Arabic phrases with a taxi driver they just met, it’s all about the tone! Let’s get into some of the most common ways of saying I love you in Arabic.
I Love You in Arabic at a Glance
I love you (MSA)
You are my life
I love you (Egyptian/Levantine)
I am in love with you (Syrian)
I can't live without you (lit. may you bury me)
I love you (Moroccan)
My love, darling
I miss you
I Love You in Modern Standard Arabic
There are a couple of phrases you can use to say “I love you” in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). We’ll go over these below.
The phrase uHibbuk أحبك is the most common standard way to say I love you in Arabic.
It is a part of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA, a.k.a. fusHa العربية الفصحى) and is therefore recognized in all dialects. You would say uHibbuk أحبك if you’re addressing a male and if you’re addressing a woman, you would use uHibbuki أحبكِ.
It is also worth noting that in other dialects of Arabic, slightly alter the MSA form to create a slang, and more casual way of saying I love you. The phrase uHibbuk أحبك transforms into baHibbak بحبك (for a male) and baHibbik بحبِك (for a female). This works in the Levantine and Egyptian dialects.
Enta ‘umri انت عمري
The phrase enta 'umri انت عمري means: “You are my life”, but holds a deeper meaning. It also means that my life didn’t begin until I met you. Completely wholesome and irresistibly sweet!
If it’s used to address a female, it turns into enty umri انتِ عمري .
The Arabic phrase enta ‘umri is also the name of the most popular Umm Kalthoum songs, but it existed way long before that!
Another way to say this is enta Hayaati انت حياتي or enty Hayaati انتِ حياتي if you’re addressing a female. These phrases have the same meaning.
I Love You in Egyptian Arabic
As mentioned above, you have to alter MSA phrases slightly to make them work in dialects.
Ana baHibbak ٲنَا بحِبَّك
The phrase ana baHibbak ٲنَا بحِبَّك means “I love you” in Egyptian Arabic.
Compare the MSA form with the Egyptian Arabic form. Do you hear a similar sound? The Egyptian Arabic is derived from the MSA root verb, (احب aHibb). أنا ana means I and baHibbak بحِبَّك means love you.
When speaking with a male you would say ana baHibbak ٲنَا بحِبَّك. When speaking to a woman, you would say ٲنَا بَحِبِّك ana baHibbik .
I Love You in Syria
The following are some examples of the Syrian flavour of Levantine Arabic.
The phrase bieishqak بعشقك is used to say I love you in Syria.
You usually say bieishqak بعشقك in a romantic context with your significant other as it is a very intimate phrase! It comes from the word eishq عشق, which translates into a deep and almost out-of-control love.
Say bieishqak بعشقك when speaking to a male. When addressing a female, it turns into bieshqek بعشقِك .
I Love You in Levantine Arabic
Apart from bieishqak in Syria, some other ways of saying “I love you” are common in Levantine Arabic in Jordan and Lebanon.
The phrase taqburni تقبرني might be one of the most intense ways to say I love you in Arabic, or perhaps in all languages.
It translates into “you put me in a grave” which probably can sound a bit morbid. It actually means that you hope your loved one will live longer than you and that you will never have to live a day without them. So romantic, right?
You might be thinking that this isn’t exactly practical to use, but you’d be surprised at how casually it’s used in Lebanon and some other dialects as well!
Taqburni تقبرني has made our list of the most beautiful words in Arabic. Check out the article for the full list.
I Love You in Morroco
The phrase kanbghriik كنبغيك is an almost exclusively Moroccan expression of love. Its literal translation is “I desire you”.
However, when it’s used it means “I want you to remain a constant in my life”. It’s not commonly used in other dialects and is not even technically part of the Maghrebi dialect.
So, when someone says it to you, know that you have a very special place in their heart.
It’s a little hard to pronounce kanbghriik unless you’re good at putting three different consonants together (something not common in many dialects of Arabic).
Common Romantic Arabic phrases
There are many words derived from the words for “love” in Arabic which aren’t exactly “I love you”. But they’re definitely related to love.
The phrase/word Habiibi حبيبي means my love in Arabic.
You’ll probably recognize this word if you’ve watched Arabic dramas or listened to some Arabic love songs.
Habiibi حبيبي is used for males and Habiibti حبيبتي (is used for females.
If you’re calling a loved one, like for example saying “hey my love”, you would say use ya Habiibi ياحبيبي, or ya Habiibti حبيبتييا.
You can level up your Habiibi حبيبي by adding ‘albi قلبي , which means “heart”. Let them know you love them wholeheartedly! You’s say Habiib ‘albi when talking to a man, for example.
However, some dialects and situations people can use it passive-aggressively so you might hear someone being called Habiibi even when in a middle of a fight!
Ya ‘amar يا قمر
ya amar يا قمر translates into “my moon” and is considered a high level of compliment on someone’s appearance. It might earn you a giggle in return.
You can use the word ‘amar to refer to someone’s beauty, as well. See common ways of saying “beautiful” in Arabic.
Ya rouHi يا روحي
The phrase Ya rouhi يا روحي in Arabic means “oh, my soul”. When you tell someone this, you’re telling them they’ve enchanted you completely.
Ya Helw يا حلو
Ya helw يا حلو is used primarily for females. Its literal translation is “you’re sweet” and when used, it means “you’re my sweetheart”.
Helw حلو by itself, is a way of describing someone as cute or beautiful in Arabic.
The word waHashtini وحشتني means “I missed you” and it comes from the word waHsha وحشه, which means both loneliness and longing. It’s an incredibly beautiful and romantic Arabic phrase that means “I’m lonely without your presence”.
These phrases are simple, commonly used, and easy to remember. They’re not exclusive to one dialect, all the regions share the love!
Are you ready to share some of that Arabic love too? Go ahead and let the people in your life know how you feel about them! It doesn’t have to be a significant other.
Try shouting uHibbuk to your friends or family and make their day! (Or send us a note saying so…)