Expressing Affection & Love in Vietnamese // How It’s Really Done

How To Say I Love You In Vietnamese // Must Know Phrases & Customs

When learning a language it’s always nice to learn the good, hearty stuff. Learning how to say I love you in Vietnamese is therefore near the top of the list for many!

Do you have a crush on a Vietnamese person but you don’t know how to express your feelings with him or her?

Good, because we’re about to teach you exactly what you need to say
Express Love in Vietnamese

First lesson – I love you in Vietnamese is Tôi yêu bạn.

However, wait right there! It’s not as simple as that!

The expression, I love you in Vietnamese may depend on people’s gender, age, relationship situation, and so on.

Before we start we also thought you’d be interested in these fascinating topics for learning Vietnamese the fun way as well!

Back to today’s topic, we would love (excuse the pun) to provide you with the ultimate guide to expressing your love to Vietnamese crush!

So with that in mind, here it is!

I Love You in Vietnamese | How to Address Your Lover?

I Love You in Vietnamese | I Love You in a Romantic Relationship

I Love You in Vietnamese | Responding to I Love You in Vietnamese

I Love You in Vietnamese | Proposing in Vietnamese

I Love You in Vietnamese | The Friendzone

I Love You in Vietnamese | Breaking Up in Vietnamese

I Love You in Vietnamese | Love Between Friends

I Love You in Vietnamese | Love Between Family

I Love You in Vietnamese | How to Express Love in Vietnam

I Love You in Vietnamese | FAQ’s

Learn Vietnamese Online

Addressing Your Lover in Vietnamese

The good thing is there are no formal rules for addressing a lover in Vietnamese.

This really depends on the partners and your habits. Like in English, people use a multitude of terms like honey, darling, babe… Vietnamese works the same.

For The Ladies

  • Anh yêu
  • Mình
  • Cục cưng
  • Chồng

For The Gents

  • Em yêu
  • Mình
  • Cục cưng
  • Vợ
  • Em bé, bé yêu

Similarly in a marriage, you can call your partner any of the following.

If You Are The Wife

  • Chồng yêu
  • Chồng
  • Ông xã
  • Anh nhà

If You Are The Husband

  • Vợ yêu
  • Vợ
  • Bà xã
  • Bà nhà

I Love You in a Romantic Relationship

OK here’s the deal.

Being in a romantic relationship, the word anh, is used to address the gentlemen.

Ladies always address themselves as em.

The word yêu is equivalent to love.

I Love You in Vietnamese

Therefore, saying I love you in Vietnamese isn’t as simple as one translation.

It can actually be any of the following!

  • Anh yêu em
  • Anh có cảm tình với em
  • Em yêu anh
  • Em có cảm tình với anh
  • Anh yêu em, cục cưng à
  • Anh yêu bé

If you are married you could say the following:

Anh yêu bà xã (I love my wife)

Vợ yêu chồng (I love you)

Chồng ơi, em yêu anh (Husband, I love you)

Thương is another word that shows strong feelings of liking and caring for somebody.

It can be used like this.

Love in Vietnamese
  • Anh thương em
  • Em thương anh

Both of these also mean I love you in Vietnamese.

To express love in a more romantic and sincere way, you can add the first name of your partner and à or này, ơi after his or her name.

For example, if your girlfriend’s first name is An, you can say:

  • An à, anh yêu em
  • An này, anh yêu em
  • An ơi, anh yêu em
  • Anh yêu em, An à

FUN FACT à, ơi are actually untranslatable words in Vietnamese. They do not really have an English equivalent!

Find out a load more of untranslatable words in Vietnamese here

DID YOU KNOW – Iu is a teenage slang for yêu commonly used on phones, social media and text by the youth.

Vietnamese Slang // 8 Words You Need To Learn Thumbnail

Vietnamese Slang // 8 Words You Need To Learn

Vietnamese Slang // Learn How To Speak Like A Native Want to level up your Vietnamese to levels you’ve never seen before? Learning Vietnamese Slang is a great way to start! Vietnamese slang, as with any language, is used frequently…

Responding to I Love You in Vietnamese

If a Vietnamese person pours their heart out to you, and you wish to replicate, how should you respond in Vietnamese

It’s quite easy actually. Simply, just add cũng before yêu.

Cũng means too in Vietnamese

  • Em cũng yêu anh – I love you, too
  • Anh cũng yêu em – I love you, too

Emphasising So Much Love

If you want to emphasise your love and tell someone you love them so much

Nhiều lắm, rất nhiều, rất, and nhiều means so much in Vietnamese.

  • Anh yêu em nhiều lắm
  • Anh yêu em rất nhiều
  • Em yêu anh nhiều
  • Em rất yêu anh
I Love You in Vietnamese

WATCH OUT | Rất nhiều, nhiều cannot be put directly before the object or the meaning of the sentence will change somewhat…

Anh yêu rất nhiều em – I love many girls

Be careful there 😂
Check out this some which features some of the words we are learning

Proposing in Vietnamese

Love in Vietnam

Ready to take the big step and ask your partner to take your hand forevermore?

It’s time to learn how to propose in Vietnamese!

Normally, the gentleman would use either of the following.

  • Làm vợ anh nhé – Will you be my wife? 
  • Mình cưới nhau nha – Will you marry me?

We also have a more indirect way in Vietnamese which goes: 

Làm mẹ của con anh nhé – Will you be the mother of our future children

Woman can also propose by saying….

  • Làm chồng em nhé – Will you be my husband for the rest of my life?
  • Mình cưới nhau nha – Will you marry me?
  • Hay là mình cưới nhau đi – Can we get married?

The marriage proposal is a popular topic for music in Vietnam. Here is an example with the song Cưới nhau đi which means Yes, I do.

The Friendzone

In contrast, if you want to reject someone who confessed his or her love to you, how do you express this feeling in Vietnamese without causing too much hurt?

In Vietnam, using let’s be friends is considered a gentle way to refuse somebody’s love confession. However, there are no exact Vietnamese words expressing friendzone.

To refuse someone’s love confession you can use the following.

  • Chúng ta nên làm bạn – We’d better be friends
  • Chúng ta làm bạn thôi được không? – Can we be friends?

To express you are in the friend zone you can say Chúng ta chỉ ở trên mức bạn bè.

As we Vietnamese love music, we also have a song for the friendzone also!

The Vietnamese song is called Trên tình bạn, dưới tình yêuMore than a friendship but less than a lover

If you are liking these Vietnamese songs, then check out this post.

Top Vietnamese Songs (For Learning The Language) Thumbnail

Top Vietnamese Songs (For Learning The Language)

Mastering Vietnamese is not easy for non-native speakers but there are ways you might not think of that can help – Vietnamese songs is one of those.

Breaking Up in Vietnamese

(Unfortunately) we are not in a Cinderella story in which lovers can always live happily together forever. Love can come to an end for some of us.

Chia tay means to break up in Vietnamese

To put it in a sentence, we have: 

  • Mình chia tay nha
  • Mình chia tay đi
Express Love in Vietnamese

To soften this a little, we can use the following.

Em có chuyện quan trọng muốn nói – I want to talk about an important thing

Mình chia tay nhé – We should break up

And guess what…

There is also a well-known song about a breakup which name is called Chia tayTo break up.

Love Between Friends

In Vietnam, we rarely express love to friends. Instead, we show care to our bestie by giving advice, or buying gifts.

IMPORTANT – in English you could tell a romantic partner, friend or family member you love them. This is not the case in Vietnamese.

If you guys are just regular friends and don’t have any romantic feelings towards each other, don’t use the word “yêu”.

Instead, use the words “quý”, “mến” or “thích”.

tôi, tớ and mình are formal expressions to address yourself

tao is an informal expression to address yourself

Then we have…

bạn, cậu are formal expressions to address your friend

mày is an informal expression to address your friend

For instance, I love you to a close friend can be said like:

  • Tớ mến cậu
  • Tao quý mày 

Love Between Family

This can be very important to learn if you are going to marry a Vietnamese person. 

“Love” is translated as “Yêu” in Vietnamese.

So, to say I Love You to your family members, you can combine the word “yêu” with the pronouns to call your mom, dad, brothers, and sisters.

If you are in a conversation with parents, the elder, con is also used as the subject in the South, and cháu in the North.

TAKE CARE | Con and cháu are unisex pronouns.

Therefore, to say I love you to the family members…

I Love You in Vietnamese
  • Cháu yêu bà – I love you Grandma
  • Ông ơi, cháu thương ông – I love you Grandpa
  • Bố à, con yêu bố – I love you Dad
  • Con thương mẹ/má – I love you Mum

Here are some useful family members vocabularies for you to learn whilst you are here also!

  • Bố, ba – father
  • Mẹ, má – mother
  • Bà – grandma
  • Ông – grandpa
  • Cô, dì – Aunts
  • Bác, chú – Uncles

Note that the words associated with mother and father vary between different Vietnamese regions.

  • Mẹ – mother in the Northern
  • – mother in the Southern
  • Mạ – mother in the Middle region
  • Mệ – mother in Hue
  • Bố – father in the Northern
  • Ba/Tía – father in the Southern
  • Cha – father in the Middle region
Vietnamese Dialects // North or South? Thumbnail

Vietnamese Dialects // North or South?

North vs South? Vietnamese dialects can vary quite significantly. This is one of the very early questions a Vietnamese learner asks themselves.

How to Express Love in Vietnam

Generally, Vietnamese people don’t often express their love in words in a public place.

However, this may depend on where do you live in Vietnam, for example, people in urban areas are more open to saying I love you publicly while people in rural areas are less likely to do so.

I love you is used more often in a romantic relationship, less so between family members, and lesser between friends.

Typically, they would rather do something such as cooking tasty meals, giving advice, close conversations or sending gifts to the one they love. 

It should be noted that you should not frequently say “I love you” to your regular friend if you are in a romantic relationship. Your partner might think of a situation in which you are falling in love with that friend as a romantic partner.


There we go, that concludes our guide on how to say I love you in Vietnamese! See it’s not just as simple as teaching you one phrase.

Culture and language go hand in hand so it’s important to know the local Vietnamese customs.

We hope this guide has been helpful for you. Any questions about love in Vietnam? Tell us what you think below in the comments.

BONUS – If you love learning about, well love… then why not check out how to declare your love in Mandarin Chinese and also Japanese as well!

How to Say I Love You in Vietnamese | FAQ’s

How do you say I love you in Vietnamese?

I love you in Vietnamese is Tôi yêu bạn.

How do married couples express love in Vietnamese typically?

These are common phrases used between married couples in Vietnamese.

Anh yêu bà xã (I love my wife)

Vợ yêu chồng (I love you)

Chồng ơi, em yêu anh (Husband, I love you)

How can I propose to someone in Vietnamese?

You can use either of the following phrases.

Làm vợ anh nhé – Will you be my wife? 

Mình cưới nhau nha – Will you marry me?

How do you say break up in Vietnamese?

Chia tay means to break up in Vietnamese.

Would I say I love you to a friend or family member in Vietnamese?

In English you could tell a romantic partner, friend or family member you love them.

This is not the case in Vietnamese.

If you guys are just regular friends and don’t have any romantic feelings towards each other, don’t use the word “yêu”.

Instead, use the word “quý”, “mến” or “thích” instead.

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  1. I Love You In Chinese - 37 Killer Phrases To Win At Love In Chinese
    Reply

    […] And last but certainly not least, why not take your language skills to a whole new level and find out how to express your love and affection in Vietnamese as well! […]

  2. Marcus
    Reply

    Great images LTL! Lex is so cool

    1. Max Hobbs
      Reply

      Thanks Marcus, very kind!

  3. Tôi yêu bạn! I learnt a new phrases! Thanks

    1. Max Hobbs
      Reply

      You’re most welcome Li!

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    Irene Magnosi , Irene Magnosi

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