22 Russian “I love you” Phrases That Will Touch Your Beloved

If you are in a relationship with someone who speaks Russian, or you are on the way to winning his or her heart, the following dating phrases will help a lot. In this post, I’ll show you the most sincere ways of saying “I love you” in Russian and other words that you can use to tell your beloved how much you care! 

How to Say “I Love You” in Russian

I’ve looked through the most-asked questions on the topic and came up with a list of must-know love Russian phrases. Okay, let’s cut to the chase and begin with the most important love words.

The best and the most straightforward way to say “I love you” is:

In Russian In English Pronunciation Audio Where to use
Я тебя люблю I love you Ja ti–bjа́ lju–bljú

Use “Я тебя люблю” in the same way that you would use the English “I love you”. Russians don’t have any special traditions or contexts associated with this phrase. We say it to girlfriends and boyfriends, husbands and wives, children or friends — to anyone who is important to us. 

It also doesn’t matter who this phrase is spoken to – a male or a female – the pronunciation and writing will be the same. So, feel free to say “Я тебя люблю” to anybody you love. 

You might hear about this “yellow blue bus” trick in the course of your learning, it’s said that this phrase sounds similar to “Я тебя люблю”. Long story short, I wouldn’t recommend you use it. I’ll explain why a bit further down.  

Now, I wanted to mention saying “I love you, baby” in Russian. Keep in mind, that this is not what your average Ivan would say to his average Masha. Sure, contexts may vary and every situation is different, but I wouldn’t recommend you say “baby” (детка) unless you are a rapper mimicking American celebrities! 

The Russian language has a huge number of options, that sound so much more natural. So, if you want to learn tender phrases in Russian, keep reading the post: I’ve selected the sweetest words that will make her or his heart bounce.

Let’s have a look at the phrases that are used at different stages of love.

“I love you” by the Intensity of the Feeling

i love you in russian

For your convenience, I’ve gathered various professions of love and ranked them from infatuation, or a crush, to a strong romantic affection.

In Russian In English Pronunciation Audio Where to use
Ты мне нравишься I like you Ti mnje nrа́–vish–sja
Я очень (сильно) тебя люблю I love you so much Ja о́–chin’ (síl’–na) ti–bjа́ ljub–ljú
Я тебя обожаю I adore you Ja ti–bjа́ a–ba–zhа́ju
Ты выйдешь за меня? Will you marry me? Ti víj–dish za mi–njа́?

“Ты мне нравишься” is not exactly “I love you”, but it’s an essential phrase for a romantic feeling that has potential to grow. It can be used when you like someone in the romantic sense, but you aren’t quite sure that it’s love. 

On the other hand, if someone has confessed to you that they’re in love but you don’t share the same feelings, a polite way to express this would be “ты мне нравишься, но…” (I like you but…)

“Я очень (сильно) тебя люблю” If your love for this person is intense and you want to show it, you can use the phrase очень сильно, that literally means very strongly. Though when speaking casually Russians often omit the word “сильно” the sense stays the same. 

“Я тебя обожаю” is an expression of strong love too. The difference with the previous phrase is that “Я очень (сильно) тебя люблю” is said between partners more often, while “Я тебя обожаю” may be used even between friends. 

“Ты выйдешь за меня?” These words are traditionally used by men (but it doesn’t mean the opposite is impossible). Following the European tradition, a man presents a ring to a lady. In most cases, this proposal doesn’t imply a long-lasting engagement and the wedding happens within half a year or so. 

Now you know the most common ways of saying “I love you” in Russian. Further down I’ll show you how to reply to these words. Even better, I’ll give you a list of the most gentle and tender words that you can tell your beloved without being afraid of seeming overly poetic or simply weird.

How to Reply to “I love you”

how to say i love you in russian

Okay, your special someone has just told you they love you.. What’s next? You have to answer them, but what do you say?

Here are the most common replies to “I love you”. Of course, this is if you feel the same. We’ll cover the other side of the coin further down.

In Russian In English Pronunciation Audio Where to use
Я тоже тебя люблю I love you too Ja tо́–zhe ti–bjа́ ljub–ljú
Я люблю тебя сильнее I love you more Ja ljub–ljú ti–bjа́ sil’–née

“Я тоже тебя люблю” is a direct translation and it means exactly the same as the English “I love you too”.

“Я люблю тебя сильнее” I think every couple goes through the stage that I would call: “- Hang up. – No, you hang up first”. They honeymoon phase. This is a brilliant phrase for a dialogue like that:

  • Я тебя люблю (I love you)
  • Я тоже тебя люблю (I love you too)
  • Нет, я люблю тебя сильнее (No, I love you more)

… and so on forever 🙂

So that’s how to respond when someone you love tells you how they feel! Now it’s time to find out how can you make someone you love happy by saying something especially sweet.

“My Love” in Russian, and Other Gentle Words

how to say i love you in russian

Romantic relationships wouldn’t be nearly as romantic without the warm and touching, personal phrases that we say to each other. So, let’s begin. 

“My love” in Russian may be expressed in two ways depending on who you address this phrase to; a man or a woman:

Where to use In Russian In English Pronunciation Audio
To a male Мой любимый My love Moj lu–bí–mij
To a female Моя любимая My love Ma–ja lu–bí–ma–ja

These are popular ways to name someone you love, but not the only ones. The Russian language seems pretty strict and emotionless, but when I decided to collect other sweet words I found HUNDREDS (I’m not kidding!) of terms of endearment. 

So I decided to rely on my own taste and picked up the most common words and phrases that may be applied to both men and women. If you need more, have a look at this article where I discuss the word “beautiful” and other compliments and tender names in Russia. 

These are the most popular tender words in Russian. So, you can use them without fear of sounding unnatural or foreign.

In Russian In English Pronunciation Audio Where to use
Солнышко Sun Sо́l–nish–ka
Зайчонок Bunny Zai–chо́–nak
Котёнок Kitten Ka–tjо́–nak

Couples often pick one of these words to call each other instead of using their ordinary names. This is a sign of close romantic relationships.

Love Words to Impress

i love you in russian

For those romantics who want to describe their feelings with longer phrases, I made the following list. While making it, I tried to pick up the most natural ones. So saying the following things, you won’t sound as if you’ve borrowed a quote from a Facebook status or pick-up lines from some website.

In Russian In English Pronunciation Audio Where to use
Я люблю тебя всем сердцем I love you from the bottom of my heart. Ja ljub–ljú ti–bjа́  vsem sе́rd–tsem
Я всегда буду любить тебя I will always love you Ja vsig–dа́ bú-du lju–bí t’ ti–bjа́
Я схожу по тебе с ума I’m crazy about you Ja skha–zhú pa ti–bjе́ s u–mа́
Я не могу без тебя жить I can’t live without you Ja ni ma–gú bjez ti–bjа́
Ты моё всё You’re my everything Ti ma–jо́ fsjo
Ты моя вторая половинка You’re my other half Ti ma–jа́ pa–la-ví n–ka
Ты моё солнце You’re my sunshine. Ti ma–jо́ sо́n–tse
Ты так много для меня значишь You mean so much to me Ti tak mnо́–ga dlja mi–njа́ znа́–chish
Ты – моя родня душа You’re my soulmate Ti ma–jа́ du–shа́
Мы созданы друг для друга We’re meant to be together Mi sо́z–da–ni drug dlja drú–ga

Now you know the basic aspects of love communication. But what about that “yellow-blue-bus” tale?

Yellow-blue bus

The English words “yellow-blue bus” are phonetically similar to the Russian phrase for “I love you” (Ja lublu vas). And so those who are new to Russian are often taught this trick.

But this is so outdated!

Yes, it’s true that saying “yellow-blue bus” sounds a little like the Russian “Я люблю Вас”. However, the polite ‘you’ – “Вы” isn’t something you would say to a person you’re in love with. In modern Russia, we use the casual ‘you’ form – “ты”.

So, instead of the last-century-style “Я люблю Вас”, try to say the up-to-date “Я люблю тебя”.


I found several resources that will help you grow your dating vocabulary: on one site, you can find some good romantic phrases, while others offer terms of endearment, and some can give you more exotic ways to express your love.. 

Russians really know how to talk about love, so the number of options may seem overwhelming. However, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.

Anastasia Korol

Anastasia Korol is an enthusiastic Russian language tutor. She gives effective, goal-oriented lessons to students all over the world. Thousands of people have already followed her Instagram.

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