How are "te amo" and "te quiero" different?

How are "te amo" and "te quiero" different?


i don't know how are they different "te amo and te quiero"?

updated JUN 3, 2010
edited by --Mariana--
posted by emmychen
Please remember to use proper capitalization in your posts. Thanks! - --Mariana--, JUN 3, 2010

3 Answers


I disagree with Nametaken who says that "te amo" is used with parent and children. I'd use "te quiero" in those cases. I'd also use "te quiero" for friends and relatives.

As for "te amo" I believe that there is a romantic depth to that which is reserved for spouses and lovers. Also, "te quiero" is perfectly fine between spouses, it's just not as deep as "te amo" or "te adoro."

updated JUN 3, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
Should we read anything into spouses and lovers rather than spouses or lovers? :-) Just don't call your husband by the wrong name at critical moments. - 0074b507, JUN 3, 2010
Jejeje - --Mariana--, JUN 3, 2010

They both mean 'I love you' - or at least they do if you change it to: 'te quiero" (a couple of your letters were put in back to front) smile

But if we want to get technical, apparently te quiero is appropriate for any love - spouse, friend, parents, siblings or lover whereas te amo is usually reserved for your lover and not your friends or family.

updated ABR 6, 2011
edited by Kiwi-Girl
posted by Kiwi-Girl

With parents, spouses and children, you would use "Te amo."

With relatives, a new boy/girlfriend and good friends you would use "Te quiero."

Edit: Have a look at this Reference Article.

updated JUN 3, 2010
edited by --Jen--
posted by --Jen--
What if you don't like your parents, spouse or children? :-) - 0074b507, JUN 3, 2010
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