Famous French Romantic Sayings

Famous French Romantic Sayings



Famous French Romantic Sayings

Many famous French authors have long lists of romantic sayings extracted from their writings. The sayings below are from various centuries of French literary talents, but all of them are sure to make a big impression when uttered at the right moment or perhaps written inside a Valentine's Day card.

  1. Le prix d'Amour, c'est seulement Amour, ... Il faut aimer si l'on veut être aimé. This famous quote, written by Honoré d' Urfé, can be translated as follows: The price of love is only love, ... one must love if one desires to be loved.
  2. En sa beauté gît ma mort et ma vie. Written by Maurice Scève, this quote literally translates to: In her beauty rests (both) my death and my life. You can make this into a phrase to tell someone directly that you love them by replacing the "sa" (her) with "ta" (your) so that it reads "in YOUR beauty."
  3. L'amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie. This line by Madeleine de Scudéry is less of a direct romantic saying and more of an abstract line about love. It translates to: Love is responsible for the greatest pleasures and the worst problems in life. This quote is a good one to use at a melancholic moment, such as when being separated from a loved one.
  4. Je serai poète et toi poésie. This line from François Coppée is a very romantic and simple line. It means: I'll be a poet, and you'll be poetry. This is a great inscription for a card or on another gift. Alternatively, say it in person at a heartfelt moment.

Aimer, ce n'est pas se regarder l'un l'autre, c'est regarder ensemble dans la même direction. This famous quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is almost as famous as his quotes from Le petit prince. This quote means: Love does not consist in looking at each other, but rather in, together, looking in the same direction.
Generic Romantic Sayings
The literary French romantic sayings are quite serious. There are also more general romantic sayings that you can use to sign off a letter or to make a more simple statement. For example, when giving flowers, you can simply write a short phrase on a tag attached to the bouquet and sign it, or not. While these phrases are not necessarily attributable to a a single author, they can have a very big impact when uttered or written in a fitting context.

  1. Pour toujours et à jamais: "Forever and for always" - this phrase can be used on its own or can be written after saying je t'aime, changing the expression into "I'll love you forever."
  2. Amour de ma vie: "Love of my life," this is a common phrase for expressing that someone is perfect for you. Often the word amour is replaced by the word for woman or man so that it reads: (you are) the man/woman of my life. This may sound a bit strange in English, but in French it is somewhat equivalent to saying that someone is your soul mate (âme-sœur).
  3. Toujours dans mon cœur: "Always in my heart." Again, this phrase can be used as an inscription on its own or you can make it into a sentence. For example: Tu es toujours dans mon cœur (You are always in my heart) or Je voulais que tu saches que tu es toujours dans mon cœur (I wanted you to know that you are always in my heart).
  4. Vous et nul autre: A bit old-fashioned because it uses "vous" instead of "tu." This line means: You and no other. You can modernize it by saying Toi et nul autre.

À toi, pour toujours: A great way to end a letter or to sign a card, this translates to: Forever yours, and makes a big impact in French.

Language of Love
The French are known for their ability to seduce with words. It is partly the attitude of ease, as well as the appreciation of beauty in all things. It is also the soft accent that attracts non-French speakers to the language. While it's the meaning of the words themselves that point to the theme of love, it's the French language, itself, that makes the phrases sound so romantic and exotic.
Declaring Your Love
The following phrases are simple statements of affection used to woo someone, French speaking or not.


French Phrases Conveying Love

French Phrase

Meaning in English


Je t'aime

I love you.

zhuh-tem (Note that the the 'zh' is always pronounced like the 'su' in measure)

Tu es ma joie de vivre.

You are the joy of my life.

too-eh mah-jwah duh vee-vruh

Je t'adore

I adore you.


Tu es mon amour.

You are my love.


Amour de ma vie.

Love of my life

ah-moor duh mah vee

Tu es mon homme/ma femme

You are my man/woman.

too-eh mohn hohm/mah fahm

Tes yeux, j'en rêve jour et nuit.

I dream about your eyes day and night.

tayzyuh, zh'ohn rev joor ay noowee

Je veux être avec toi.

I want to be with you.

zhuh vuh eh-truh ah-vek twah

Describing Your Love
Sometimes it's nice to say a bit more about the depth and breadth of your feelings than the above, basic, statements can express.
Forever Love
Do you want to show how deep your feelings are for your loved one? Or maybe you want to state your love in a unique way for Valentine's Day, a marriage proposal, or in your wedding vows. You might want to use the French phase:

  1. Mon amour pour toi est éternel. (Mohn ah-moor poor twah et ay-tair-nell.)

This special phrase can be translated: My love for you is eternal.

French Words for Love
Saying I love you - Je t'aime - is just one way to express love. There are also many love phrases to help you express your feelings in French. Don't forget to respond, "Je t'aime aussi!" - "I love you, too!" - lest your beloved go unrequited!
The Verb Aimer
The French verb "to love" is aimer. It comes from the Latin word amor, which is the basis for many words in Romance (Latin) based languages relating to love. Many French words for love - aimer, l'amour, j'adore - all take their root word from amor.
It may be helpful to have the present tense conjugations of this verb on hand when looking at French words and phrases for love.
Present Tense: Aimer




I love

Tu aimes

You love

Il/elle aime

He/she loves

Nous aimons

We love

Vous aimez

You love

Ils/elles aiment

They love

As you know from studying grammar in English and French, there are many verb tenses, or ways to express time through verbs. The simple chart above expresses present tense only for the verb aimer; you may need to look up the other verb tenses if you need to use aimer differently.
Romantic Love
The verb aimer generally expresses romantic love. For serious moments between lovers, the simple, "Je t'aime" suffices. One may also say, "Je t'adore" to express adoration or passionate love for something or someone. In English, the connotation when using the adore is a much stronger desire or feeling of love; in French, it is less so.
Liking Something
Just as we might say, "I love chocolate!", the French also use the verb aimer to express love for things as well as people. It's perfectly acceptable to say, "J'aime le chocolat". And if you're a real chocoholic, you can indeed say, "J'adore le chocolat."
French Literary Love Quotes
French literary masterpieces are often overflowing with romance. Many of these authors' quotable lines have made their way into English speakers' hearts over the years.
Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust (1871-1922) was, among other things, a novelist whose greatest contribution to literary history is À la recherche du temps perdu known in English as In Search of Lost Time or Remembrances of Things Past. He is also the source of many great quotations like this one from his novel, La Prisonnière (The Captive):

  1. On n'aime que ce qu'on ne possède pas tout entier.

"We love only what we do not wholly possess." (Proust)
George Sand
George Sand, born Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin, and later known as the Baroness Dudevant, was a famous French novelist. She is well known for having defied convention by living apart from her husband, and for being Frédéric Chopin's lover. She is also remembered for dressing in men's clothes, thereby gaining access to places she wouldn't have been able to otherwise. Her most famous quote by far is from a Letter to Lina Calamatta:

  1. Il n'y a qu'un bonheur dans la vie, c'est d'aimer et d'être aimé.

"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved." (Sand)
More Writers on Love
Other famous French love quotes include:

  1. Il n'est rien de réel que le rêve et l'amour.

"Nothing is real but dreams and love," from Le Cœur innombrable, IV, Chanson du temps opportun by Anna de Noailles

  1. En amour, écrire est dangereux, sans compter que c'est inutile.

"In love, writing is dangerous, not to mention pointless," from Le Demi-Monde by Alexandre Dumas Fils

  1. Si tu m'aimais, et si je t'aimais, comme je t'aimerais!
  2. "If you loved me, and if I loved you, how I would love you!" from Toi et moi, Épigraphe by Paul Géraldy
  3. L'amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie.
  4. "Love makes life's sweetest pleasures and worst misfortunes," from Choix de pensées de l'amour by Madeleine de Scudéry
  5. Aimer, ce n'est pas se regarder l'un l'autre, c'est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.

"Love doesn't mean gazing at each other, but looking, together, in the same direction," from Terre des hommes by Antoine de St-Exupéry

Top 10 French Love Songs
French love songs make great easy-listening. Whether you like older music or newer sounds, there's a romantic song to suit your tastes. Here are ten all-time favorites.
10. L'Hymne à l'amour by Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf is considered to be one of France's most beloved singers. Of Algerian and Italian decent, she is the queen of French love songs. While many other men populate the top ten list, Edith Piaf is one of the few women.
One of her most famous songs, L'Hymne à l'amour, is as haunting and as beautiful as the tale that inspired it. While Édith Piaf wrote the lyrics to this song, Marguerite Monnot composed the music. It has been reported that Piaf wrote the song for a man, the French boxer Marcel Cerdan, as an ode to her unending love for him.
9. Que je t'aime by Jonny Hallyday
Often referred to as the Elvis Presley of France, Hallyday's career included a lot of rock and roll music, as well as his ballads. Que je t'aime was lost in the shuffle of Hallyday's most prolific period in the studio, but later emerged as a favorite love song.
8. Mourir d'aimer by Charles Aznavour
One of the most famous French singers of the chanson style, Aznavour's hit is about dying for love. He claims that there is no greater value in life than to pay for one's love with life. Intrinsically linked, you can't separate life from love, which is why this song's lyrics and soulful sound became such a hit.
7. Car Je t'aime by Yves Montand
A singer and actor, Yves Montand was one of the greatest stage and film stars of the middle part of the 20th century. Car je t'aime is a serious love song, but with the frequent repetitions of words, a playful nature lightens the atmosphere compared to some other love songs of the same period.
6. Caroline by MC Solaar
Born in Senegal, raised in France, and influenced musically by a journey to Egypt, MC Solaar is one of France's best-known rappers and hip-hop artists. Many of his songs have been translated into English as his popularity has spread beyond Europe. His appeal goes beyond the conveying rhythms of his music; his lyrics not only flow, but are also playful and multi-dimensional.
5. J'ai deux amours by Josephine Baker
Baker, born in America but becoming a French citizen after a decade working in Paris, J'ai deux amours was her anthem. The songs lyrics claim: "I have two loves: my country...and Paris." While some Americans believe that La Baker was referring to her country of birth in this song, the French almost unanimously believe she was referring to France. In any case, the song became an anthem in France while Josephine Baker's career spanned an impressive 50 years of performance in Paris and around the world.
4. L'été indien by Joe Dassin
Born in America, but living in Europe for much of his adult life, Joe Dassin topped the charts in France with songs like this one. About love during the Indian Summer in North America, this song will appeal to all who have a romantic image of autumn in America.
3. La Vie en rose by Edith Piaf
Another hit song by the lovely Edith Piaf, this chanson is slow and sensual, making it perfect for Piaf's iconic voice. She wrote the song and first recorded it in 1946, although she was unsure if the public would like it. It was such a resounding success that the song has been sung by more than 50 additional artists over the years.
2. Ne Me quitte pas by Jacques Brel
Even for those who don't speak French, this song is clearly a deeply moving song. Dripping with emotion, the singer begs his love not to leave him. Promising everything he can offer under the sun, Brel makes a strong case in music.
1. Je l'aime à mourir by Francis Cabrel
Hitting the charts in 1979, this single by Cabrel went straight to number one and became famous in other French-speaking regions as well. Later recorded in Spanish as well, the song has transcended France and the French language and become one of the greatest love songs of the 20th Century.
Love in French
Whether you're just learning French or you speak it fluently, these great French songs can inspire your language learning process or your love life. Many wonderful singers focus on love in their lyrics not only because it's a subject important to them, but because the audience always wants to hear a great love song. Learn the lyrics to these songs if you want to profess your love in a unique and romantic way; the lyrics are some of the best love quotes available in French.

Love Poems Written in French
Three 19th century poets wrote often about love. Hugo and Desbordes-Valmore are just two of the poets of this period whose topics often circled around love.
Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo is perhaps best known for his epic novels, such as Notre Dame de Paris, but what you may not know is that he is also a very celebrated poet. His poems often circle around the theme of love, such as in the beautiful poem Demain, dès l'aube (Tomorrow at First Light). This poem is being told at the grave site of his daughter, as it was his love for her that causes him not to see the beauty around him until he is with her again (at her tomb). The poem begins with the title phrase, which roughly translates to 'Tomorrow, as soon as the first rays of light come through, I will leave'; the poem goes on to describe what he or she is going to do in order to make it to where she is.
Another famous love poem by Victor Hugo is Aimons toujours! Aimons encore! which serves as a reminder to all readers not only of why we, as human beings, love, but also that we should continue to love, despite any pain or difficulty that may come part and parcel with love.
Marceline Desbordes-Valmore
l'Amour is a poem by Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, famous for her intuitive verse and for holding her own in a then typically male-dominated occupation: literature. This poem asks the question of whether or not love can make human beings happy, and explores both sides of the question before affirming that love is, indeed, something that makes us happy. By the same author, a poem entitled le Premier amour (first love) takes the topic of first love at a bit more of an even keel. les Roses de Saadi is a very well-known love poem by this author, not exclaiming love, but showing an action of love: trying to bring someone so many roses that they all are lost because they can't possibly all be carried, a metaphor for love itself.
Alphonse de Lamartine
Lamartine, among several other love poems, wrote seven poems all entitled Chant d'amour, and simply numbered them from one to seven. Each one has its own charm, but the third one Chant d'amour III is particularly easy to understand. Lamartine is famous for hiding his intention in poetic language (which should come as no surprise from a romantic poet), which makes some of his love poems difficult to understand.An example of one of his longer love poems, in which the theme of love is embedded in poetic language, is le Lac. This poem laments how quickly time passes, and celebrates love all at once. A more literary poem, this one requires more than a basic understanding of French, but it has the advantage of revealing new angles to you each and every time that you read it.
Some Famous Love Poems
There are a few sites you can turn to for some French love poems. Try:
Short-Love Poems
This entire site is exclusively dedicated to romantic poetry, and they offer everything from short love poems to poems that are appropriate for Valentine's Day.
What you'll really appreciate about this site is the fact that many of these poems are written in their original French, something you might not see everywhere. Some of the poems featured here are by Louise Labé and Ballade.
Classic French Poems
If you prefer to take the more traditional route, then consider Classic French Love Poems by Lisa Neal. This book boasts a wide array of several poets, including Pierre de Ronsard, Charles D'Orleans, and Jacques Taureau, just to name a few.
More Sources
If you are still searching for that perfect French poem, it may help to know some of the most famous names in that field. This way, you can either purchase a book of their poems, or visit your local library and pick them up. Some of these famous names include:

  1. René Char
  2. Jean Cocteau
  3. René Daumal
  4. Marie de France
  5. Émile Nelligan

Putting it All Together
As one can see, when it comes to finding the right French love poem, there are many different avenues one can take. Whether you feel more comfortable reading poems online, or prefer to hold a book in your hand, both options are available. While it's true that the volumes are endless, if you take your time, you're sure to find beautiful romantic sayings in French poems from all periods.

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Famous French Romantic Sayings


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Famous French Romantic Sayings



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Famous French Romantic Sayings